Calling Artists for Día de los Muertos 2015

Image of Deadbeats, Howie Katz, installation for the Día de los Muertos 2014

Now in its 16th year, SOMArts’ Day of the Dead exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Día de los Muertos celebrations in the United States. Over the years, this group exhibition has brought together a wide variety of perspectives to honor, remember, and celebrate the dead. Today is the Shadow of Tomorrow is dedicated to poets Eduardo Galeano and Alfonso Texidor. The writings and activism of both have inspired and influenced so many throughout the Bay Area and the world. This year’s title and theme Today is the Shadow of Tomorrow is a call to respond to institutional racism and violence. To honor people who have unnecessarily lost their lives and to look toward the future we want to make for ourselves. Artists are invited to create artworks and altars with this theme in mind or to share their own personal visions.

SOMArts’ Day of the Dead exhibit mixes traditional Mexican altars and contemporary art installations. Past exhibits have included personal altars, interactive installations, and multimedia monuments. Today is the Shadow of Tomorrow: Día de los Muertos 2015 is a great opportunity to explore the strengths of tradition and to honor the dead by utilizing both traditional and contemporary art practices in the creation of your work. Our exhibition space is designed and laid out by architect Nick Gomez. As the exhibit takes shape, please be aware that spaces provided to artists can expand and contract.

There will be an informational meeting for interested artists at SOMArts (934 Brannan St. between 8th and 9th) on Thursday, August 6 from 6:30pm–8:30pm. Attendance is strongly suggested, as it will discuss materials used to structure the exhibit and provide an opportunity to meet fellow artists. Proposals must be received no later than 5pm on Monday, August 17, 2015 to be considered. Click here to submit your proposal online. If you need technical assistance, please email

Key Dates & Information

Thursday, August 6, 6:30pm: First Artist Meeting in the Theater
Monday, August 17, 5pm: Deadline for Submissions (Click here to submit a proposal online.)
Thursday, August 27: Artists notified of their application status
Tuesday, September 8, 6:30pm: 2nd Artist Meeting (required)
Saturday, October 3–Thursday, October 8: Artists install
Friday, October 9, 6–9pm: Opening Reception
Friday, October 23, 7pm–9:30: Gathering the Embers
Saturday, November 7, 6–9pm: Closing Reception

Selected artists will be expected to maintain their installations and artworks. Please plan to make regular visits to SOMArts to make sure your installation is well maintained and functioning. All involved with this exhibition take pride in the large attendance at special events and during gallery hours, and we ask that artists help in ways big and small to assist with outreach and publicity. Please help spread the word about the exhibition so that our audience continues to grow and diversify. There are volunteer opportunities at related events, in assistance with educational programming related to the show and print material distribution.

 Image Credit: Deadbeats, Howie Katz, installation for Día de los Muertos 2014