Dara Katrina Del Rosario
Communications & Partnerships Manager
[email protected]

On view Saturday, October 9–Friday, November 5
Virtual Gallery launching Saturday, October 9

Dedicated to Yolanda Lopez, Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez,
Moira Roth, Betty Segal, and Ronnie Goodman

Thursday, September 23, 2021, San Francisco, CA–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 affirming the importance of arts & culture in shaping our worlds.

Curated by Rio Yañez and Carolina Quintanilla, Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Dia de Los Muertos 2021 can be viewed in person Saturday, October 9–Friday, November 5 with the Virtual Gallery launching Saturday, October 9. Exhibiting artists honor how grieving rituals have shifted in response to the global pandemic. The exhibition reflects on how the past year has transformed our visions of connection, freedom, and healing. After a year of collective isolation and survival, what are we longing for? What becomes possible when we are able to imagine futures beyond resilience?

Every Día de Los Muertos exhibition is dedicated to community members whose legacy has inspired generations and galvanized movements.

Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez is known for her contributions to Chicana feminist literature and activism. Her activism was through her work as an educator, mentor, author, editor, and through direct local actions. She is the author of 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures and 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History. Feminist art historian, Moira Roth, was an educator and mentor whose legacy will be felt by generations of students. Her research and articles centered performance art, feminist art practice, photography, multiculturalism, and more. In 1994, she worked with Yolanda Lopez on an essay titled “Social Protest: Racism and Sexism”.

Yolanda Lopez, iconic Chicana artist, activist, and a longtime staple in San Francisco’s Mission District, will be commemorated by her son and exhibition co-curator Rio Yañez. A pivotal voice in The Chicano Arts Movement, Yolanda continuously stood up for the works she had created and in turn, nurtured and mentored emerging generations of Latina artists.

Living Legacies: Día de Los Muertos 2021

Victor Mario Zaballa, Tlatquilt–The Legacy, 2020. Photography courtesy of Rich Lomibao

Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience includes works by renowned artist Victor-Mario Zaballa, who will build a variation of his illuminated altar made of traditional papel picado. Muralist 2AM underscores the significance of creating spaces for Black people to find peace and joy in the past, present, and future. Filmmaker and musician LEXAGON aka Alexa Burell grieves to what’s been lost in the California landscape, inviting us to reconnect with nature. Interdisciplinary artist Paola de la Calle honors the protests and uprisings in Colombia, imagining the new possibilities that can be built or emerge when oppressive systems are set aflame.

Exhibiting artist dedications include Art Hazelwood and Kate DeCiccio who are honoring Ronnie Goodman, an unhoused artist and activist remembered as an important ‘visual voice on homelessness’. Elizabeth Addison commemorates activist, artist, and healer Betty Segal who focused on integrative bodywork and pioneered work on lymphedema. Both Ronnie Goodman and Betty Segal were deeply inspired to give back to their communities with Ronnie raising $10,000 for Hospitality House and Betty volunteering at Oakland’s Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, which provides free integrative care for low-income women with cancer.

Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience public programs include Iluminaciones: Día de Los Muertos Drag Show curated by legendary San Francisco nightlife icon and drag queen Per Sia, Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 PM PST, $10 suggested donation.

Adrian Arias
Alicia Cruz
Art Hazelwood
Crystal Azul
David Tafolla
Elizabeth Addison
Ernie Rivera
Julien Lallemand
Kate DeCiccio
Kristiana Chan
LEXAGON aka Alexa Burell
Lilli Lanier
Monique Lopez
Ozi Magana
Paola de la Calle
Ruth Villasenor
Sam Campbell
The Society of the Smokey Mirror
Victor Mario Zaballa

Rio Yañez
Carolina Quintanilla

All exhibition programs and gallery hours are subject to change in response to COVID–19 protocols. Entry during gallery hours is free. To learn more about SOMArts’ COVID–19 safety plan, please visit

Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021
On view Saturday, October 3–Friday, November 5, 2021
SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition merges traditional altars with contemporary installations, continuing to be a multigenerational gathering of remembrance.

To learn, visit:

Iluminaciones: Día de Los Muertos Drag Show
Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 PM PST, $10 suggested donation

Curated by legendary drag queen Per Sia, this Día de Los Muertos drag show features the Bay’s most iconic drag queens and kings. More to be announced!

To learn more, visit:


SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths. For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.