SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition, beginning in mid-October and concluding around the time of the holiday itself, is a long-standing and beloved San Francisco tradition. Originated by visionary community artist and activist René Yañez, this exhibition honors René’s legacy as his son and curator Rio Yañez continues to illuminate the connection between the personal and the political through Day of the Dead.
Día de Los Muertos is a celebration that is continually in transition, as curator Rio Yañez encourages artists to extend beyond the traditional altar in order to look at personal loss, as well as local and global issues. In past years artists have created installations about contemporary issues including health care, the presidential election, gentrification and displacement, police brutality and immigration.
SOMArts welcomes over 600 Bay Area students to learn about the traditional and contemporary celebrations of Día de Los Muertos. In addition to a docent tour of the gallery exhibition, students have the opportunity to create their own artwork in response to the themes of the exhibition.
Past Día de Los Muertos exhibitions include:
- Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021
- Living Legacies: Día de Los Muertos 2020
- City of Souls: Día de Los Muertos 2019
- Honoring Our Ancestors by Fighting for the Future: Día de los Muertos 2018
- Remembrance and Resistance: Día de los Muertos 2017
- A Promise Not to Forget: Dia de los Muertos 2016
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