Call for Artists: Día de los Muertos 2018

Day of the Dead 2017

Now in its 19th year, SOMArts’ Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead 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.

This year, SOMArts lost the padrino of the Mission and beloved Día de Los Muertos co-curator, René Yañez. We honor him with this exhibition and invite proposals from artists reflecting on how we engage with our ancestors in the present and future.

The theme of this year’s exhibition, Honoring our Ancestors by Fighting for the Future, invites artists to reflect on how those we’ve lost have shaped our creative and political work. How does the wisdom and work of the dead show us a path and means to a better future? What about your past must you take to your future?

Since its inception, Día de Los Muertos at SOMArts has offered a space for community reflection and remembrance, refusing to forget the people and places who have been lost. Now more than ever, it’s imperative to honor the dead and reflect on their legacies. What can the lives of our ancestors teach us about resistance and creativity in the current political climate?

Artists are invited to create artworks and altars with this theme in mind or to share their own personal visions. SOMArts’ Día de Los Muertos exhibition mixes traditional Mexican altars and contemporary art installations. Past exhibitions have included personal altars, interactive installations, and multimedia monuments. Honoring our Ancestors by Fighting for the Future: Día de los Muertos 2018 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.

SOMArts’ exhibition space is designed and laid out by architect Nick Gomez. As the exhibition takes shape, please be aware that spaces can change in planning.

Proposals must be received no later than 3 pm on Monday, July 30, 2018 in order to be considered. Click here to submit your proposal online. If you need technical assistance, please email Carolina Quintanilla at carolina@somarts.org with any questions.

Key Dates & Information:

- Monday, July 30, 3 pm: Deadline for Submissions (Click here to submit a proposal online.)
- Week of August 13: Artists notified of their application status
- Wednesday, September 5, 6–8pm: Artist Meeting (required)
- Friday, October 5–Thursday, October 11: Artists install
- Friday, October 12, 6–9pm: Opening Reception
- Friday, November 9, 6–9pm: Closing Reception

Selected artists will be expected to install and 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 and community engagement at special 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 so that our audience continues to grow and diversify. There are opportunities to get involved by volunteering at related events, assisting with educational programming related to the show, and distributing print materials.