SOMArts’ annual Day of the Dead exhibition, beginning in mid-October and concluding around the time of the holiday itself, is a beloved and uniquely San Francisco event. Curated by Rene Yañez and Rio Yañez with assistance from architect Nick Gomez, the event features work by more than 70 artists each year.
Day of the Dead is a celebration that is continually in transition, especially under the mentoring of curators Rene and Rio Yañez who have expanded the artists’ part to extend beyond the traditional altar to a loved one. The father and son team challenge artists to use their creative visions to look at personal loss, as well as local and global issues. In past years artists have created installations about contemporary issues including health care, the presidential election and neighborhood violence.
In past years 30 classrooms from 16 different Bay Area public and private schools (grammar school to high school) have visited SOMArts and learned about the traditional and contemporary celebrations of the Day of the Dead. The students are given a docent tour of the gallery exhibition. In addition, SOMArts creates a black light room, where students make art inspired by the iconography and traditions surrounding Day of the Dead in a room that glows.
Stay tuned for details about the 17th annual Day of the Dead exhibition. Call to artists for altar and installation proposals will go out in late summer of 2016.
For more information about how you can volunteer as a docent, participate as an artist or support SOMArts’ Day of the Dead exhibition with your donations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent exhibitions include:
October 9–November 7, 2015 | Today is the Shadow of Tomorrow: Día de los Muertos | Photos
October 12–November 9, 2013 | Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos | Photos
October 13–November 10, 2012 | Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Día de los Muertos | Photos
October 16–November 7, 2009 | Altars for the Spirits/Offerings for the Living: Día de los Muertos | Photos
Image credit: Overview of gallery, Today is the Shadow of Tomorrow: Dia de los Muertos 2015, photo by J. Astra Brinkmann