Call to Artists: Day of the Dead Exhibition 2012

What: Call to artists for installation work, altars & flat work to be exhibited in Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Día de los Muertos 2012 (produced by SOMArts Cultural Center, exhibition and programming curated by René & Rio Yañez)

When: Submit by Monday, August 13, 2012

How Much: No entry fee

What else: Don’t forget to attend the first informational meeting for artists on Thursday, August 2, 6:30pm!  Click here to learn more about this annual exhibition.

The title and theme of the 13th annual Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center (October 12 — November 10, 2012) is Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Día de los Muertos 2012.  This year the exhibition is dedicated to Daniel del Solar, a Chilean-American media activist, poet and photographer, as well as others yet to be determined

This year’s theme encourages artists to focus on positive forces in the midst of the presidential election and global economic and social upheaval. The Mayans believed that the solar system’s cycles coincided with our own spiritual and collective consciousness and imagined the close of 2012 as a period of rebirth and transition. We are looking for art and altars that can interpret the profound and often enigmatic events of the present, while honoring the past and affirming the possibilities of the future.

Curators René and Rio Yañez seek artists to create traditional and personal altars for the exhibit as well as works that reflect contemporary views and visions of honoring the dead. Artists who have participated in past exhibitions are welcome to submit again. We are fortunate to continue working with our skilled production team of architect Nick Gomez, publicist Sally Douglas Arce, foreman Mike Dingle, Executive Director Lex Leifheit, Director of Communications and Community Engagement Jess Young, and Director of Facilities and Technical Operations Ed Varga.

Important Dates
Thursday, August 2nd:  First Artist Meeting at 6:30 pm at SOMArts
Monday, August 13th:   Artist Submissions Deadline
Friday, August 24:  Artists Notified
Thursday, September 6, 6:30pm:  Required Artist Meeting
Saturday–Thursday, October 6–11:  Artists install
Friday, October 12:  Opening Reception
Saturday, October 27:  Bernal Hill Players concert, “Music of Two Cities”
Saturday, November 10:  Closing Reception
Sunday-Monday, November 11th–12th:  De-installation

We are continually examining the ways in which technology shapes how we celebrate Day of the Dead. Once again our Flickr group enables us to accept digital photos online as offerings to those who people want to honor.  Selected images will be printed and displayed as part of the exhibit. Submit online at

There will be an informational meeting for interested artists at SOMArts, 934 Brannan St. between 8th and 9th on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:30pm.  Attendance is strongly suggested as René and Rio Yañez will discuss the materials that will be used to structure the exhibit, and the meeting will be an opportunity to meet fellow artists.

Submissions must be received no later than Monday, August 13th, 2012 to be considered.

Two-Part Submission Process & Guidelines:

1. Propose your piece by answering the questions online submission form; please click here to access the form.

2. Provide supporting images and dimensional sketch through Kapsul. Scroll down for full instructions on how to submit a proposal via

Required: A simple sketch or illustration with accurate dimensions (length, width and height) of the space required for your altar through Kapsul. Dimension accuracy is critical information due to the high volume of proposals. Submit as a PDF or Word doc or image.

Encouraged: Images of previous artworks and/or installations, or existing items included in your altar proposal.

If you do not have a computer or if you need to use a SOMArts computer, need technical assistance with the submission process, or have questions of any kind, please contact Jennifer Nicholson, Day of the Dead Curatorial Intern, at (415) 863-1414, ext. 106 or

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Instructions for submitting through Kapsul:

Kapsul is a platform for collaboratively creating collections of images, videos, and texts online. SOMArts is using the website to manage images, descriptions and proposals for the Day of the Dead exhibition.

Please follow these 7 easy steps to upload images and text.  If you experience trouble or need to ask a question, first watch the tutorial video on or go to and read the Help section (click on Help in lower right-hand corner).

If problems persist, please call Jennifer Nicholson, Day of the Dead Curatorial Intern, at (415) 863-1414 ext. 106 or send an email to

Please note: Kapsul is supported by three Internet browsers:  Apple Safari (Mac browser), Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. If you do not already have Chrome or Firefox and are not working on a Mac computer, click on one of the following links for a free download: or

1. Go to Create a Free Account using the email address at which we will contact you. Check the box to agree to the Terms of Use.

2. Click on Start a New Kapsul and title it with your First and Last Name.

3. If you have images to submit, click on Add +.  A dialogue box will open entitled Add to Kapsul. Click on the Image icon to submit. In the Add Image box, click on Browse or Drop Images Here to navigate to the location of your images. Select an image and click Begin to Upload.

4. Once the image is uploaded, you have the opportunity to enter the Artist Name, Title of Image, Date, Medium, Dimensions and a short Description. Click Done when you have entered all the appropriate information for the image.

5. To add documents (a Word doc or pdf) click on Add +. A dialogue box will open entitled Add to Kapsul.  Select the icon entitled pdf. In the Add Text File box, click on Browse or Drop file here to navigate to the location of your document. Select a document and click on Submit.

6. Uploaded information is organized under the five tabs:  Works, Artists, Texts, Activity and SlideshowImages are automatically organized under the Works tab, and Documents can be found under the Texts tab.

7. Once all of your information is uploaded, you must Share your Kapsul with us at Click on Share in the upper right-hand corner. A dialogue box will open with two tabs. Click on Make a Share Link. Next to Everyone With This Link, select the option Can Edit from the drop-down menu. (Editing privileges provide SOMArts with access to your images for non-commercial use, including publicity, outreach and archiving. We will not add to or delete the contents of your Kapsul.) Click on Update Share Link. A popup window appears confirming that you wish to make a share link. Click OK.

8. To Post Your Kapsul, click on the White Envelope icon to share the link with us via email. . . A smaller box will open entitled Email a Friend. Enter in the To box, and your contact email address in the From box. Click on Send. Type in the three moving red letters and/or numbers (case sensitive) to prevent spam. Click on Send again.

About SOMArts Cultural Center
The mission of SOMArts is to promote and nurture art on the community level, and to foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures. Founded in 1979, SOMArts embraces the entire spectrum of arts practice and cultural identity, and it is beloved in San Francisco as a truly multicultural, community-built space where cutting-edge events and counterculture commingle with traditional art forms.