Feature image: Francisco Flores, Árbol de la vida Día de muertos

The Pilsen neighborhood has been the epicenter of a tradition, deeply rooted in Chicagoan arts and culture, for 25 years – The Day of the Dead exhibit, at the National Museum of Mexican Art. This annual art celebration has showcased the greatest Mexican and Mexican-American “Funerary” Art since 1986. The exhibit embodies what the Day of the Dead tradition is all about: honoring and remembering those who passed away, and celebrating cultural heritage.

César A. Mártinez, Dando vida / Giving Life, 1999

This year’s exhibit, Dia de Muertos XXV, curated by Cesáreo Moreno, celebrates not only its Silver Anniversary in the museum’s galleries but also the lives of two great artists who  have contributed immensely to Mexico ‘s arts legacy and passed away in 2011: photographer Milton Rogovin and surrealist painter Leonora Carrington.

Whether you have Mexican roots or not, or you are spiritual or not, Día de Muertos XXV is a treat for everyone. It offers a wide range of programs including free public tours every Saturday (12pm English – 1pm Español), children’s art classes (reservations at 312.433. 3908) and a Day of the Dead Community Night on November 2nd (7-9pm – free) in which attendees get together to remember their lost loved ones, embrace tradition and enjoy the exhibit. Don’t miss the 6th Annual Folk Art Festival (October 14-23), a great chance to witness art demonstrations live and to purchase unique works of art.

Dia de Muertos XXV will be opening this Friday September 9th (6-8.30pm) and will run through December 11 (free and open to the public). Gozamos will be there covering the event and interviewing the people who made this exhibit possible. We will do our best to bring you a taste of pan de muerto and atole and a sight of the vibrant ofrendas.  However the best way for you to take it all in is to see it for yourself and, along the way, honor the memory of those who are no longer with you.

The National Museum of Mexican Art is located at 1852 W 19th st, Chicago, IL 60608. For more information about this exhibit or the NMMA visit: www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

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