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Art Museum Comes Alive with Día de los Muertos Celebration, Activities

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art presents a free family day in celebration of Día de los Muertos from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 in the museum’s back plaza, State Street terrace, Family Resource Center, and galleries. The museum is at 1130 State St. Admission to the museum also is free.

For the 27th year, the museum honors the Mexican tradition of remembering the dead with a variety of family festivities include altar displays, art activities, live music, dance performances, an interactive altar installation to artists in the collection designed by the museum’s teaching artists, and traditional Mexican refreshments.

Inspired by the Día de los Muertos traditions and works of art currently on view in the museum galleries, the event’s art activities include skeleton portraits of works in British Art from Whistler to World War II with Spanish translations; Papel Picado pattern frames honoring the landscapes of Ansel Adams; skeleton Claude Monet landscape postcards and traditional skull charms.

In the Family Resource Center, the public is invited to pay homage to Man Ray, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Joan Brown by creating portrait collages, cats-and-dogs triptychs, and pop-up altar boxes as offerings to add to the interactive altars celebrating the lives and works of these three artists.

The Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated by creating altars or “ofrendas” (offerings) that include portraits, personal goods, clothing, favorite foods, and possessions of the deceased family member. This is an important social ritual that symbolizes the cycle of life and death that is human existence.

— Katrina Carl for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.


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