Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dia de Los Muertos Event at Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock, CA.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was celebrated at the newly remodeled Carnegie Arts Center in my hometown, Turlock, the last Friday of October. I had the wonderful opportunity to cover this family friendly event and celebrate my Mexican heritage.

What is Day of the Dead, you ask? Below is an overview of the week-long celebration and it's history:  

     "...a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts."

Students from Hilmar Elementary and Osborne School and surrounding local schools came to partake in the events of the evening which included: an altar on display which honored those family members who had passed on, children with painted faces dressed colorful attire dancing to traditional Mexican music, an art activity where children and their parents could create their very own Day of the Dead mask and the opportunity to view the Ansel Adams gallery on display as well as art from local artists in the surrounding valley.

It was so wonderful to be a part of a wonderful event where children could spend time with their parents in the community, celebrating the heritage and traditions of the Mexican culture.

I loved photographing the children creating unique masks and fully immersing themselves in art, it's incredible how art brings people from different backgrounds and experiences together. Here are my favorites from the evening, enjoy!

The art studio was ready for the students to create their own day of the dead masks.
Art teacher examples, aren't these neat? I love them, so colorful and fun!
Some of the creativity and fun masks the children did.  They had a great time!
It was so cute to see the kids proudly wearing their masks during the event, so creative!
Artist, Don Hall, brought a few of his Day of the Dead 
pieces just for this event to display in the lobby of the Art Center.  
I fell in love with his work, it was incredible!

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