The 11th annual Community Celebration for el Día
de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Bailando con la Muerte
– Dancing with Death, is including Procession from Hartnell to Oldtown Salinas to
along Central Avenue in 2009!
Sign up now to participate in the first-ever
procession for Bailando con la Muerte on Central Avenue!
Local artists are invited to create an artwork
for the Day of the Dead with a John Steinbeck theme to be displayed at the
Hartnell College Gallery from October 26th through December 15th 2009. Each work of
art will be exhibited in a downtown location during the show – one location per
artwork. All mediums and sizes will be considered for exhibition, the
inspiration is John Steinbeck and his work. Entries are to be based on the Day
of the Dead, with a Steinbeck theme. This could mean a character, title or
general subject related to Steinbeck. All artworks will be considered for
inclusion in the exhibition.
Method of submission: digital image of artwork with
title, specifying size and medium, as well as a brief description to:
on a CD mailed to: Artistas Unidos – Artists United, Post
Office Box 548, Salinas, CA 93902. Please include your full name,
address, phone number, and e-mail address if available.
Deadline for entries is extended until Oct 25, 2009. Entrants
will be notified by October 29th, 2009.
Artwork must be available for display by October 26th, 2009.
Participants: Hartnell College Gallery agrees to display one artwork by a local artist (subject to
approval) from October 25th through December 15th. There is no cost to
the venue; marketing and publicity will be provided at no cost, as well as
announcement cards. There is no charge to participate in this event.
Background Information for the Day of the Dead:
El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in all Latin American
countries and includes an interesting blend of European and Pre-Hispanic
indigenous traditions. It represents an attitude towards death that is very
different than the American way. In Latin America death is part of the cycle of
life, and rather than being feared, it is celebrated – often with a sense of
humor. Usually coinciding with the Catholic religion’s All Saints Day and All
Souls Day, the actual celebrations for El Día de los Muertos last for three
days: the thirty-first of October, and November First and Second.
Preparations often begin weeks in advance, when
a thorough cleaning of the house and cleaning and painting the graves of family
members is done to welcome the souls of loved ones that have passed away. The
celebration is one of love and respect as the people know that their dead have
not gone completely from the family – that they come back during this time to
visit and give comfort to those left behind. As the dead are often hungry and
thirsty after the long journey, food and drink are offered for refreshment at
altars or ofrendas constructed in the home.
It is believed that the souls of little children
visit on the first day, the souls of adults the next day, and on the last, souls
of strangers. The content of the ofrendas to the dead is changed accordingly,
with bland food and sweets for children, spicy dishes and alcoholic drinks for
the adult souls. In order to make the returning dead feel at home, things that
they loved in life such as toys, tools, or hobbies are placed on the altar. In
this way the dead are reassured that they have not been forgotten by their
El Día de los Muertos is therefore a beautiful
and touching remembrance to those who have gone from our lives.
The title of this exhibition, Bailando con la Muerte – Dancing with Death, is a
metaphor for exploring this cultural tradition. The concept of Bailando con la
Muerte is to promote intercultural understanding in our community through art.
To this end many artists and members of the community have contributed to this
Artistas Unidos - Artists United Mission
We are dedicated to bringing people from all cultures together through
education, facilitation, and promotion of all disciplines of the arts in
Monterey County, furthering intercultural understanding in our communities,
cultivating cultural tourism in Salinas, and the economic advancement of local
artists and youth in the underserved populations.