October 22, 2004

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is Mexico’s ancient tradition of celebrating the lives of deceased loved ones. It features elaborate ofrendas or altars, whimsical skeletons and sugar candy skulls that mock death to release the fear and grief about death.

The following are local events and there is an accompanying story in Spanish that talks about the tradition Dia de los Muertos.

Oceanside Celebrates

Día de los Muertos

This year Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated in downtown Oceanside on Sunday, October 31. Each year the celebration has grown and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Ofrendas built in the street by local Oaxacan families,food, an interactive chalk cemetery, thousands of marigolds, Dia photography exhibit by Tim O’Reilly, art, a traditional folk art Mercado, children’s arts & crafts area, educational presentations, and lots of fun for the whole family.

Saturday night beginning at 6pm there will be a play titled “Ofrenda” which will be performed by CSUSM students at the Oceanside library community rooms 300 N. Coast Hwy. The play will be followed by a candlelight procession and reception in the Phantom Gallery where Tim O’Reilly’s work will be displayed.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is Mexico’s ancient tradition of celebrating the lives of deceased loved ones. It features elaborate ofrendas or altars, whimsical skeletons and sugar candy skulls that mock death to release the fear and grief about death.

Día de los Muertos is often confused with Halloween, but Dia provides a very different flavor and a different view of life and death. Dia is a beautiful tradition that has its roots in the pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico and Central America.

MainStreet Oceanside (MSO) is producing its Fourth Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival and according to the event manager, Mary Ann Thiem, “we work hard to keep the mellow, spiritual flavor of the day while making sure that Mexican and non-Mexican, young and old all have an enjoyable and uplifting day”.

As well as the traditional ofrendas, there will be street entertainers, music, and a children’s area. Dia merchandise will be offered for sale, along with traditional food and dishes from other cultures.

In Mexico today, Day of the Dead is a time when families visit the graves of their relatives, cleaning the sites and arranging fresh flowers, bringing the deceased’s favorite foods, and playing music. Many immigrants, especially Mexico’s Oaxacan community, have brought those traditions with them. And they are now sharing them with everyone by participating in Día de los Muertos Festivals in the U.S.

In Oceanside the traditional ofrendas will be built by Oaxacan families from the area, as well as Cal State San Marcos students and local artists. Professor Carlos Von Son from CSUSM will conduct tours of the ofrendas and a video will explain the historic context as well as the modern adaptation of the celebration of Dia in the United States. Modern Dia art will be also be shown in the Phantom Gallery.

The chalk cemetery, a very popular area which always strikes a cord with both Mexican and non-Mexican families, will be expanded again this year, so that everyone can remember a loved one in a graphic, participatory way.

An appealing part of the event is seeing over 30,000 marigolds decorating the street and the ofrendas. Once again Mike Mellano of Mellano and Company is helping to produce the striking flowers for this year’s festival.

People of other cultures are learning that Dia is a celebration of life that speaks to everyone who has lost somebody. Some people attend because they are curious and others because they want to have a good time. “Whatever the reason” said Paula Blazak, event coordinator of MainStreet Oceanside, “we are happy to see so many different types of people in one place to celebrate life. And we invite everyone to join us on Sunday, October 31, downtown Oceanside at Pier View Way, east of  Coast Highway, 10 AM – 4 PM.”

Escondido Museum to present Muerte de todos, ofrenda de participación

(Death Comes to Everyone: A Participatory Offering)

ESCONDIDO – The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is pleased to announce that the Museum will present the ninth annual installation of Muerte de todos ofrenda de participación (Death Comes to Everyone: A Participatory Offering), a site-specific installation created by internationally acclaimed Mexican artist Eloy Tarcisio. Since its inaugural exhibition in 1995, Muerte de todos has become one of The Center’s most celebrated annual events due to its rich cultural history and community involvement, annually attracting hundreds of participants. This year, the installation by Tarcisio will be on view in the Museum Sculpture Court from November 1 through November 30, 2004. 

While deeply rooted in the Mexican traditions of Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead, Tarcisio’s beautiful and deeply meaningful installation allows for people of diverse cultural backgrounds to reflect on life and death. The installation consists of more than one hundred wooden crosses, clay bowls—filled with grains, beans, and other organic materials that are symbolic of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past—and votive candles, which viewers are invited to light.

Day of the Dead, observed in Mexico on November 1 and 2, is a time when family members honor those who have died by decorating altars with offerings of food and personal mementos. In this same manner, Tarcisio has encouraged Museum visitors to participate in the installation each year by making an offering and leaving personal objects in memory of loved ones—objects such as photographs, mementos, and flowers. This community interaction is intrinsic to the work, providing both spiritual and artistic completion. In 1997, Muerte de todos ofrenda de participación was generously donated to the Museum’s Permanent collection by Eileen Apple-by, providing the opportunity to share this important work with the public each year.

Eloy Tarcisio was born in Mexico City in 1955. From 1973 to 1977, he studied at La Esmeralda, the National School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City. He participated in the founding of the Center for Investigation and Experimentation in the Visual Arts at Mexico City’s National Institute for Fine Arts. Tarcisio has received several awards and grants for pro-jects in Mexico City and has had numerous solo exhibitions, including the most recent Eloy Tarcisio: Recent Work (Obra reciente) at the Museum, California Center for the Arts, Escondido in 2000. This exhibition was accompanied by a 48-page, bilingual catalogue that featured essays by renowned scholars of contemporary Mexican art, Teresa Eckmann, Jorge Alberto Manrique, and Jose Manuel Springer. His work also has been featured in group exhibitions throughout Mexico, Europe, and the United States. Tarcisio has been instrumental in the dissemination of contemporary Mexican art as a juror, advisor, instructor, and curator. He is founder of Ex-Teresa Alternative Art, affiliated with the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), where he served as director from 1993 to 1994 and 1996 to 1998. Currently, he is Coordinator of Visual Arts at Mexico City’s National Autonomous University of Mexico. 

Community Reception

Monday, November 1, 2004, 6 – 8 p.m.

Join us for the opening reception of Muerte de todos ofrenda de participación in the Museum Sculpture Court. The reception, which is held each year as part of The Center’s observance of Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead will feature traditional beverages, breads, candies, and Mexican crafts.

Chicano Perk and Red CalacArts presents their 2nd Annual Dia de los Muertos Commemoration

Tues, Nov. 2, 2004 @ 7pm Chicano Perk 129 25th St. San Diego, Califas


Featuring a poetic hom-enaje by Pancho Bustos, Sara Durán, Estela Eaton, Victoria Featherstone, Marissa Raigoza, Michael Cheno Wickert and others tba... Plus: Benjamin Prado of the Raza Rights Coalition. Join us as we pay tribute to those that have passed

Día de los Muertos at Paradise Creek.

Join in this celebration of life, celebrating the many wonderful people who have come before us, influenced us and left their mark on this world. Take a tour of the creek, eat some tamales, and listen to music by the Mariachi Juvenil Mi Mexico, and other groups. Food and Raffles will also be offered. There will be art activities led by local artist Veronica Cunningham for the kids as well, from 12 Noon to Sunset.

Paradise Creek is at 1815 Hoover Ave. in National City. Take I-5 to Mile of Cars Way (old 24th Street). Go east 1 block and take an immediate left on Wilson Avenue. Go north to 18th Street. Turn right and pass St. Anthony’s Church and Kimball Elementary. Hoover Avenue is at the east end of the school. Turn right or park on the street nearby. We are also very close to the 24th Street Trolley Station.

View www.paradisecreek.org for more information.

Dia De Los Muertos: A Celebration with Altar Making, Music, Poetry and Cultura

Oct. 28th—30th, 2004
Voz Alta Project
1544 Broadway Street
San Diego, Ca 92101

Women’s History Museum & Educational Center
2323 Broadway Street Suite 107, San Diego, CA 92102

For the first time, the Voz Alta Project and the Women’s History Museum (WHM), come together in collaboration to bring you an event unlike others this season. So get your calacas in order, because San Diego is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos!

Join us for altar making, food, music, poetry and festivities kicking off Thursday October 28th through Saturday October 30th:

* October 28, 6:00 p.m. - “Women, Witches & Day of the Dead: Historical Look at Fear & Celebration,” @ WHM a workshop by Dr. Sue Gonda, WHM President and Professor at Grossmont College/SDSU

* October 29, 6:00 p.m. - Community Altar Building: @ WHM, Olivia Puentes-Reynolds, Gracia Molina de Pick and Eneri Rodriguez will be hosting an altar making evening paying homage to women in our histories. This event is free and open to the public; however the community altar will be built for women in history by women.

* October 30, 2:00 p.m. - Mask Making: @ Voz, A Workshop hosted by Mary Lou Valencia ($15.00 donation)

* October 30, 7:00 p.m. – A Celebration: Ofrenda of Palabras: The evening opens at the museum with refreshments, community altar on display, guest speaker Dr. Sue Gonda and performance by the Brujas y Bellas. The evening continues as everyone walks from the museum to Voz Alta (yes they are that close together!) and arrives for the second half of the celebration with music by Cabeza de Vaca, continued spoken word by Brujas y Bellas and La Linea and altars on display in honor of women who have passed on display.

Cal State San Marcos Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

Following last year’s cancellation because of the October wildfires, the traditional Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration returns to Cal State San Marcos, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Nov. 1, 2004, on Kellogg Library Plaza.

Free paper mache calavera workshops @ Chicano Perk café y cultura Friday October 22 @ 4:30 and Sunday Oct 24 @ 1pm Instructor: Gerardo.

All materials needed will be provided for you. Please come and learn how to create your own paper mache calavera for your dia de los muertos altar.

Space is limited so please register ASAP at Chicano Perk.

Chicano Perk café y cultura strives to provide free programming for the general public, please support us by purchasing a cup of coffee.

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