Illuminations: Día de los Muertos 2011


What: Illuminations: Día de los Muertos 2011

When: October 8–November 5, 2011. Closing celebration Saturday, October 5, 6-9PM.

Where: SOMArts Bay Gallery, 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: Free admission during gallery hours. $6-10 admission to closing celebration.

Gallery Hours: Tues–Fri, 12–7PM, Sat 11–5PM.


El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, provides a way for people to embrace the beauty of life and to honor the spirits of the dead. Intricate, traditional altars and complex art installations created by more than 80 Bay Area artists  from a breadth of cultural backgrounds are on display in Illuminations: Dia de los Muertos 2011. Altars and installations range from deeply personal to political and many invite contribution or interaction from visitors.

The theme “Illuminations” was chosen by curators René and Rio Yañez to symbolize a source of light for spiritual and intellectual reflection. This year’s exhibition is dedicated to community pillar and Mission District business owner Martha Sanchez and renowned artist Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition continues to examine the ways technology shapes the celebration of Day of the Dead. Once again, a Flickr group enables the exhibition’s curators to accept digital photos as offerings to those who people want to honor. The public can upload their digital contributions here. Selected images will be printed and displayed as part of the exhibit.


René Yañez is an artist and a visual and performing arts curator and producer. A founder and former Artistic Director of Galería de la Raza, Yañez was one of the first curators to introduce the contemporary concept of Mexico’s Day of the Dead to the United States. Since the early 1970s, Yañez has been instrumental in establishing the Day of the Dead as an important cultural celebration and teaching others about those outside of the culture through public programming around the annual Day of the Dead exhibitions he curates.
Rio Yañez, son of René Yañez, was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. He is a curator, photographer, andgraphic artist. As a curator he frequently collaborates with his father, and the pair have been developing exhibits together since 2005. Yañez is also a founding member of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy, a tortilla art collective.

Adrian & La Tania Kathy deRosas
Alicia Cruz-Hunt Kathy Fujii-Oka
Amanda Vigil Katie Paxton
Amy Blackstone Kay Villalobos
Anais Azul Kelley Coelho
Andrew Samuels Kevin Mullaney
Anna Hoover Kitsch House
Annamarta Doustourian Kristin Tieche
Aydasara Ortega La Tania
Betty Segal Lanell Dike
Bjorn Heinbach Laura DuBois
Brenda Rasmussen Lia Tealdi
Bruno Lopez Lorena del Campo
Candi Farlice Marcela Reyes
Caritina Mendoza Marilyn Mullaney
Carla Caletti Mary Molly Mullaney
Carla Oden Meadow Presely
Carolina Medina-Dupaix Melyssa Mendoza
Chrystal Powell Mike Dingle
Chuck Potter Millan G. Figueroa
CJ Grossman Natalia Vigil
Cynthia Tom Nathaniel Bolton
David Tafolla Nick Gomez
DeCoy Gallerina Patricia Montgomery
Denise Richards Rene Yanez
Diane Williams Rio Yanez
Edmundo de Marchena Romeo G.  Osorio
Elizabeth Addison Rosario Sotelo
Escobar-Morales Scott Job
Gina Lim Shizue Seigel
Herbert Siguenza Stan Heller
Hersalia Cantoral Susan Matthews
Howard Katz Susana Aragon
Jeannie O’Connor Tamara  Liu
Jeff Charest Theo Knox
Jenna Wittenberg Victor Mario Zaballa
Jos Sances Victor Navarette
Juliet & Dean MacCannell Victoria Canby
Justin Hoover Ytaelena Lopez
Kathy deRosas  Chloe Rose