Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013

What: Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013

When: October 12–November 9, 2013

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: Free admission

Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12–7pm, Saturday 11am–5pm, Sunday, 11am–3pm

What Else: See special event listings below

The Day of the Dead 2013 exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center offers a visually dense and stimulating environment of elaborate, traditional altars and multi-dimensional art installations. Inspired by current events, cherished relationships, and Day of the Dead celebratory rituals, Bay Area artists utilize multifaceted, contemporary creative practices in Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013.

The exhibition is on view Saturday, October 12 through Saturday, November 9. Visitors are invited to attend the closing reception, Saturday, November 9, 6pm to 9pm, $7–10 sliding scale admission, to enjoy music, interactive performance and the unveiling of more than 30 altars and installations. Click here to read more about closing night programming.

Eventbrite - OPENING EVENT: Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013

The exhibition is open from Saturday, October 12 through Saturday, November 9 at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, free admission during gallery hours Tuesday–Friday, 12–7pm, Saturday 11am–5pm, and Sunday, 11am–3pm.

Accompanying events include:



Opening reception
Friday, October 11, 6pm–9pm
$7–$10 sliding scale admission
Click here for tickets



Gathering the Embers: A Dia de los Muertos Tribute Show 2013
Friday, October 25, 7–9:30pm, box office opens at 6pm.
$8 in advance, $10 at the door admission
Click here for tickets



Closing Reception with Performances & Artist Market
Saturday, November 9, 6pm–9pm
$7–$10 sliding scale admission
Click here for tickets

Each year, more than 80 Bay Area artists from a breadth of cultural backgrounds participate in the Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts, examining local and global issues through altars and contemporary art installations that address themes ranging from the deeply personal to the political and emphasize viewer interaction.

This year the exhibit is dedicated to those whose lives have been affected by cancer. In the U.S., cancer remains the second most common cause of death, accounting for one of every four deaths [Cancer Facts & Figures 2013, published by the American Cancer Society (ACS)]. According to ACS, cancer has become the number one cause of death of Latinos now surpassing heart disease. Chosen by curators René and Rio Yañez, the theme Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013 encourages participating artists to imagine time in relation to life and death, and to utilize memories to create altars to honor the dead and celebrate life.

Also, the curators have asked that artists consider the events of the past year, such as the death of Trayvon Martin, violence in Oakland, and mass evictions in San Francisco, as well as their own personal experiences. Architect Nick Gomez creates the material aesthetic and layout for the installations.

“Because cancer affects 25 percent of people in the United States, sooner or later we are all likely to know someone who has cancer,” says Rene Yañez, Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013 co-curator. “As a special focus and dedication, this year we call upon artists to reflect on how cancer has touched our lives. The exhibition recognizes how time becomes a factor for those who are friends, caretakers, loved ones or those who have cancer themselves and looks closely at how we celebrate, gather and preserve special memories.”

The Day of the Dead exhibition provides a way for artists and viewers to embrace the beauty of life and to honor the spirits of the dead. Imagining Time, Gathering Memory: Día de los Muertos 2013 is dedicated to the late Spain Rodriguez, pioneering underground cartoonist, and the late Carlos Villa, renowned artist, educator, and multicultural activist, both of whom died of cancer.

Oakland based artists Howie Katz and Ytaelena Lopez present an interactive, computer driven installation that invites viewers to consider the pervasiveness and randomness with which cancer affects us. As viewers enter the installation, their images are collected and their framed portraits appear as projections on a wall. Special software designed by Katz, programmed to account for current cancer statistics as well as audience data collected by a Geiger counter within the installation, are used to create the portraits. When cancer symbolically afflicts a participant, the projected image of their face fades slowly as text appears detailing their medical condition, stage and prognosis.

Exhibiting Chicana artist and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivor Martha Rodriguez dedicates her installation to her personal journey with cancer with her poem “Remission in the Mission” as the centerpiece. Michael Ross and sculptural furniture artist William Rhodes work collaboratively with youth attending art classes at the Bayview Opera House to build an altar inspired by home and a sense of place that represents the memories over time of the larger Bayview community.

Mixed-media artist C.J. Grossman honors teen lives lost to suicide because of bullying. Bolivian artist Javier Rocobado exhibits a series of mixed-media works that honor protesters, activists and those affected by AIDS who used San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza as a site of protest and a grassroots education center in 1985, before people with HIV and AIDS were protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act and prior to the formation of advocacy groups like ACT UP.

Susan Matthews and collaborator Fernando Valenzuela’s conceptual altar functions as a museum-like display of remnants of past SOMArts installations, addressing and re-imagining artistic memory and personal iconography. Her installation asks visitors to consider which memories are worthy of saving, and at which point a memory might best be included in a museum or history book as noteworthy art or cultural history.

This year’s Day of the Dead exhibition is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Community Arts and Education Program with funding from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The San Francisco Foundation and The Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Exhibiting Artists Include:

Elizabeth Addison
Bisher Al Issa
Marilyn Arceo
Adrian Arias
Jill Arnold
Jesus Barela
Bayview Opera House
Maria Becerra
Miranda Bergman
Pamela Blotner
Patricia Cleveland
Olivia Competente
Alicia Cruz-Hunt
Rick Darnell
Andreina Davila
Lorena del Campo
Kathy deRosas
Barbara Dundy
Linette Escobar
Candi Farlice
Tania Figueroa
Joseph Henson Flye
deCoy Gallerina
Tara Ganace
Alisson Gothz
CJ Grossman
Todd Hanson
Stan Heller
Plinio Hernandez
Rashida James-Saadiya
Mark Johnson
Howie Katz
Keiko Kubo
La Tania
Oliver Leach
Sean Leone
Ytaelena Lopez
Johnny Lorenz
Dean MacCannell
Juliet Flower MacCannell
Jeff Marshall
Cris Matos
Susan Matthews
E. Oscar Maynard
Carolina Medina-Dupaix
Caritina Mendoza
David Mezynski
Neila Mezynski
Patricia A. Montgomery
Mary Molly Mullaney
Jennifer Nicholson
David Nicholson
Carla Oden
Choppy Oshiro
Alan Quiñonez
Brenda Rae Rasmussen
Caro Reyes
William Rhodes
Denise Richards
Ernest Rivera
Javier Rocabado
Martha Rodriguez
Nora Rodriguez
Michael Roman
Chloe Rose
Michael Ross
Zachary Rutz
Laura Victoria Salazar
San Francisco Drug Users Union
Jos Sances
Nicole Schach
Allyson Seal
Betty Segal
Dimitra Skandali
Susan Stern
David Tafolla
Lia Tealdi
Cynthia Tom
Kristina Tuohey
Fernando Valenzuela
La Vette Virden
Thomalyn Virden
Ellen Vogel
Carmena Woodward
Rene Yañez
Rio Yañez
Victor Mario Zaballa
Xiaojie Zheng

Photo by Rio Yañez