Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience:
Día de Los Muertos 2021

Submissions due Monday, June 7, 3:00 PM PST

Now in its 22nd year, SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations in the United States.

Founded by beloved San Francisco artist and curator René Yañez, Día de Los Muertos at SOMArts merges traditional altars with contemporary installations, continuing to be a multigenerational gathering of remembrance while asserting the role of art as a platform for collective action. Curated by Rio Yañez and Carolina Quintanilla, Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021 will be available as a 3D virtual exhibition and, pending safety regulations, we plan to be open to the public through timed ticketing entry.

The pandemic has caused a shift in our rituals around grief and healing. After a year of collective isolation, what do you long for? This year we invite artists to reflect on how loss and isolation have shaped their Dreams Emerging. We are calling on artists to create altar installations that reflect on how the last year has transformed their visions of connection, freedom, and healing and to create work that embodies dreams of the world in which they want to live.

Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021 will be accepting a limited number of submitted works. This year’s exhibition will continue to prioritize staff, artist, and guest safety by providing ample space for social distancing.


Monday, June 7th, 3 PM: Deadline for Submissions
Week of July 26th: Artist notified of their application status
Wednesday, September 1st, 6–8 PM: Artist Meeting
Wednesday, September 29th–Saturday, October 2nd, 10-6 PM & Sunday, October 3rd, 10-4 PM: Artist Install (by appointment)
Friday, October 8th, 6–8 PM: Opening (details forthcoming and pending COVID regulations)
Saturday, October 9th–Friday, November 5th, 2021: Exhibition Run
Saturday, November 6th: Deinstallation (by appointment)

All involved with Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021 take pride in the attendance and community engagement at virtual events and during gallery hours. We ask that artists help in ways big and small to assist with outreach and publicity. Please help spread the word about the exhibition!

Image credit: Living Legacies: Día de Los Muertos 2020, photo courtesy of Kevan Jenson
Artist credit, Left to Right: Adrian Arias, 2AM, Paola de la Calle