The reception for the Días De Los Muertos exhibit was held in the Los Medanos College Art Gallery Thursday, Nov. 5 to kick off the show that will be open through Dec. 10. The exhibit’s theme represents the concept of the Mexican holiday and translates to the Day of the Dead.
The reception created a celebration that involved viewers and also provided themed refreshments. A table was used to create a traditional Day of the Dead altar adorned with meaningful objects to remember loved ones who have passed on. Altars typically display photos, flowers, fruit and coins, as well as any item that represents the dead, and art gallery director Judi Pettite encouraged gallery visitors to contribute to the altar by placing an item that symbolizes the passing of one of their own loved ones. She said the items can be anything significant to them and will be given back to the owners at the end of the exhibition.
The show features sculptures, drawings, paintings and other artistic installations. The paintings were done in bright colors to inspire celebration for the dead.
This exhibit featured artists both from LMC and as far away as the East Coast. New York artist Margaret DeLima’s sculpture was in honor of her sister who passed away peacefully in her sleep in 2008, and many at the reception were interested in hearing her story. The sculpture is named “Blue Jeanna,” and the use of blue as its primary color represents being calm and free. It is a blue figure floating in a sea of blue, surrounded by blue sky and labeled with Cursum Perficio that translates as “my journey is over” or “I finished my journey.”
Two works of art displayed in the show and admired by gallery visitors were both created by members of the LMC community. As you walk through the art gallery, your eyes are drawn to the large piece by Eric Sanchez, instructional assistance for art, drama and journalism. The creation is a lady skeleton with long flowing hair, holding a large basket of fruit with skull heads all around.
The other piece, made by LMC student Angel Arreola, is a striking acrylic on canvas piece was used on the Días De Los Muertos flier. The painting, named “The Eyes of La Cantrina,” displays a women’s face painted with the Day of the Dead sugar skull makeup and features blue hair and piercing hazel eyes.
The show attracted many students, some from art classes, others walking by after leaving the Library, including the Grim Reaper himself who made a friendly visit to the show in full costume.
Pettite said students have asked numerous times over the years about creating a Day of the Dead celebration in the gallery, so she thought “it was about time to have one.”
If you are interested in viewing Días De Los Muertos, or contributing to the altar on display, the show will be open for this celebration through Dec. 10. The Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Library.