Now in its 18th year, the annual Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center offers one of the most internationally diverse Día de los Muertos celebrations in the United States. Merging traditional Mexican altars with contemporary art installations, the exhibition presents a superabundant array of perspectives remembering, honoring, and celebrating the dead. Inspired by cherished relationships, current events, and personal and collective histories, more than 25 altars by over 50 participating Día de los Muertos artists build a dense environment of creativity that creates space for meaningful reflection and community engagement.
In conjunction with this year’s Day of the Dead exhibition, Día de los Muertos curator René Yañez commissioned David Kubrin to organize the Mission Salon to showcase the talent and cultural vibrancy of the Mission District. Kubrin, who started the Mission MAPP alongside Todd Brown of Red Poppy Art House, runs Pathos on Harrison Street — a salon that has showcased great dance, jazz, salsa and experimental artists. Kubrin has organized meetings at his home for many years and is a real San Francisco magic maker.
For his first salon outside of Pathos, Kubrin has assembled an amazing line up of talent from the Mission, including San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck with performances by Trio Cambio, Los Nadies and Musical Art Quintet. In addition, exhibiting artist Josue Rojas will be creating live painting on site with the theme of uplifting the Dreamer movement. This interactive salon will invite audience members to reflect on the importance of preserving and maintaining the history and cultural vibrancy of San Francisco.
A limited number of seats will be available for this special evening of performance. Advance tickets are highly recommended. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit relief for victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico.
Curator bio: David Kubrin is a writer, educator and long-time activist for social justice living in the Mission District. For the past 9 years, Kubrin has been the facilitator of the Mission Arts & Performance Project (MAPP) — a performance series that has hosted free music, poetry, visual and other arts in various inner Mission venues. Kubrin also hosts the “Pathos-on-Harrison” salon in his home, where he has presented works by Marcus Shelby, John Truedell, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Rupa, John Calloway, Meklit Hadero, Mamacuatl, Classical Revolution, Stephen Kent, Jack Hirshman, Avotcja, and many others. Kubrin’s book on ecological crises, Marxism & Witchcraft is due to be published in October 2017. Kubrin received his BS in Physics at Caltech in 1961 and his PhD in History of Science from Cornell University in 1968. In 1969, Kubrin was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for his writing on Isaac Newton’s cosmological ideas. At 78, Kubrin has three grown children — all raised in the Mission — and two young grandchildren.
Los Nadies weave together a wide array of Latin American rhythms with rock, creating a unique and sophisticated danceable fusion that includes Rumba Flamenca, Cumbia, Afro-Cuban, Peruvian & Brazilian music, Reggae and South American folklore with poetically and politically infused lyrics. Their music often mirrors and reflects the Latino experience in a globalized US with immigrant roots hailing from Argentina, Bolivia, Perú, and the Bay Area. Their music is greatly influenced by Nueva Trova Latinoamericana in the vein of Silvio Rodriguez, as well Santana, Bunburi, Calamaro, Bersuit Vergarabat and Manu Chao, to name just a few.
Los Nadies or The Nobodies take their name from the eponymous poem/essay by Uruguayan historian Eduardo Galeano decrying the invisibility cast upon the millions of dispossessed people around the world. As a band Los Nadies are proudly committed to social justice as well as to environmental and political awareness. Yet they embrace a spirit of fun, joy and sheer musicianship in every performance.
Trio Cambio‘s original songs are about love, unity, harmony justice, peace and revolution. Trio because three is strong like a tripod, a triangle or a pyramid. Cambio because change is the only constant transformation is growth and life is change.
San Francisco poet laureate Kim Shuck embraces the fool and jester qualities of being a modern poet and artist. She is a devotee of San Francisco, whose hills she wanders nearly always on foot. Her maternal grandparents met at the Polish Hall on Shotwell and she spent many hours with her mother and grandmother wandering the Mission St. Miracle Mile, taking books out of the Mission Branch library and watching aquarium fish on the ground floor of what used to be Hale’s. She firmly believes in carrying a bubble wand, keys, pen and notebook and cat’s cradle string at all times.
Shuck is widely published in journals, anthologies and a couple of solo books. She enjoys volunteering in SFUSD elementary school classrooms to share her loves of origami, poetry and basket making… in other words, math of various kinds. Kim currently also works with students at the California College of Art in the Diversity Department.
Mission Salon is presented in partnership with Baldocchi Projects, a fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts.
Remembrance and Resistance: Día de los Muertos Exhibition
On view Friday, October 6–Thursday, November 9, 2017
Extended gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm, Saturday 11am–5pm & Sunday 11am–3pm
Friday, October 6, 6–9pm
$12–15 sliding scale admission
Exhibition unveiling features a Día de los Muertos inspired artist market and music by LA GENTE.
Thursday, November 9, 6–9pm
$7–10 sliding scale admission
The final opportunity to view and interact with the altars features live music by Candelaria and interactive installation
Image credits (from top to bottom): Carrie Love, photo by Rio Yañez; Los Nadies, image courtesy of the artist; Trio Cambio, image courtesy of the artist; Kim Shuck, image courtesy of the artist.