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SOMArts Day of the Dead Exhibit – October 2011

August 12th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Art

If you are interested in unique and original art in San Francisco, El Día de los Muertos, the
Day of the Dead, provides a way for people to embrace the beauty
of life and to honor the spirits of the dead. Intricate, traditional altars
and complex art installations will be on display in Illuminations: Dia de
los Muertos 2011 from Saturday,
October 8 through Saturday, November 5 at SOMArts Cultural
Center
, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco.

The theme “Illuminations” was chosen by curators René and Rio
Yañez to symbolize a source of light for spiritual and intellectual
reflection. This year’s exhibition is dedicated to community pillar and
Mission District business owner Marta Sanchez and renowned artist
Pablo Picasso. Each year, more than 80 Bay Area artists from a
breadth of cultural backgrounds participate, examining local issues
and global disasters such as 2011’s devastating earthquake,
tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan. The 30+ altars and
installations range from deeply personal to political and many invite
contribution or interaction from the viewer.

“Illuminations presents the old and the new side by side,” says
curator René Yañez. “Traditional folk art altars will appear alongside
high-tech, experimental installations using 3-D images and
projections.”

Highlights of Illuminations include local artists Susana Aragon,
Adrian Arias, Carla Oden, and Elizabeth Addison’s multimedia
installations, which utilize the theme by incorporating light and
projections in unique environmental spaces. Longtime contributing
artist Victor Mario Zaballa will present a traditional Mexican Day of
the Dead altar. Architect Nick Gomez will create a material aesthetic
and layout for the installations, inspired by the theme. 2

“We continue to examine the ways technology shapes how we
celebrate Day of the Dead. Once again, our Flickr group enables us
to accept digital photos as offerings to those who people want to
honor,” says curator Rio Yañez. The public can upload their digital
contributions to flickr.com/groups/digitalofferings/. Selected images
will be printed and displayed as part of the exhibit.

Illuminations also features collaboration with actor and visual artist
Herbert Siguenza of Culture Clash fame. Siguenza has been touring
the U.S. in a one-person show called “A Weekend with Pablo
Picasso.” In addition to contributing an altar, Siguenza will perform
and paint as Picasso during the opening reception on Friday
October 7, 2011.

Photo Credits:
Altar by Victor Mario Zaballa
Altar by Alicia Cruz-Hunt
Altar by Jos Sances
All Photos by Rio Yanez

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