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Día de los Muertos Festival at Tacoma Art Museum

25 Oct

A traditional sand painting. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

The Día de los Muertos Festival is on now through Sunday, November 4 at Tacoma Art Museum! Centro Latino and Proyecto MoLÉ are joining with TAM to celebrate the Day of the Dead with more than a week of fabulous Latin American cultural activities. Now in its eighth year, this popular event, which will culminate in a free community festival on November 4, will welcome more than 3,700 visitors with art, live music and performances, and several hands-on art-making activities for all ages. You could decorate a beautiful sugar skull, watch a performance of Aztec dance, and taste the zesty flavors of Latin cooking.

Día de los Muertos is an ancient celebration of the eternal cycle of life. Today, the holiday combines centuries of indigenous practices with contemporary traditions and spiritual beliefs. Observed in Mexican and other Latin American communities on November 1 and 2 (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day), it is a powerful, symbolic way to honor relatives and friends who have died.

The TAM lobby features a festival centerpiece – a colorful, round, floral-inspired tapete (sand painting), with 27 ofrendas (altars) installed by community members in the atrium. This year’s tapete is an exploration of flowers in honor of the marigolds so important to the Día de los Muertos celebration – as well as the upcoming exhibition Andy Warhol’s Flowers for Tacoma, opening November 3.

Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

The colorful ofrendas and tapete will remain on view through Sunday, November 4, when the Día de los Muertos celebrations take over the entire museum as part of a free community festival. Friends and neighbors will join together to create and enjoy Latin American art and culture from 10 am-4 pm in honor of this holiday. Visitors will be able to meet with tapete artist Fulgencio Lazo, dance to live music from Tacoma’s Mariachi Ayutla, see a performance by the Aztec dance group Grupo Quetzalcoatl de Olympia, decorate sugar skulls, stencil and paint a terracotta pot, and more! Continue reading

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