October 13 - November 3
Friday, October 13, 5 – 8 pm
This year the Art Center celebrates the 30th anniversary of our annual Día de los Muertos Exhibit, October 13 – November 3, with artwork by 30 artists, an artwork collaboration with Eugene Arte Latino showcasing Día de los Muertos photographs by five Mexican photographers, a Day of the Dead Gift Shop presented by Suzanne Algara of Buganvilla Imports, and community altars honoring loved ones who have died. The Title Sponsor of the 2023 Día de los Muertos Exhibit is Lane Forest Products.
The Fiesta Reception with music by El Taller de Son Jarocho and dancing by Ballet Folklórico Colibrí takes place on Friday, October 13, from 5 – 8 pm. For the Fiesta Reception, a special mobile gallery, the “Muerto Mobil,” featuring an exhibit of Día de los Muertos artwork, will be stationed in front of the Art Center.
In honor of the cultural holiday of Día de los Muertos, the Art Center is hosting a Free Día de los Muertos Family Day on Saturday, October 28, from 1 – 4 pm. Bring your family and friends and enjoy free art activities, including sugar skull making, creating paper marigolds, storytelling, and more.
The artists displaying work in the 2023 exhibit are from four states and Mexico. A wide variety of mediums are represented, from collage, clay, and acrylic to modeling paste, fabricated steel, and mixed media. The Mexican photographers exhibiting are Juan Carlos Reyes, Alejandro IV Barrágan, Maricela Figueroa Zamilpa, Fernando Soto, and Salva Sandoval. Their photographs highlight the many ways Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico. Seven community ofrendas (altars) will be on exhibit, including an altar dedicated to Susan Dearborn Jackson, one of the original founders of the Art Center’s Día de los Muertos Exhibit.
Cottage Grove, Oregon artist Laurel Gravem Alvarez describes her four pieces in this year’s exhibit as “reflecting her love of the ‘Day of the Dead’ and the touching significance behind the holiday.” Having lived in south Texas and travelled extensively in Mexico, Alvarez was familiar with the celebration. Newly back in Oregon, Alvarez says she was “so happy to have heard about this annual art show at the Maude Kerns Art Center!”
East Wenatchee, Washington artist Eileen Finn exhibits one mixed media work titled Sainthood in this year’s Día de los Muertos Exhibit. Devastated by the loss of friends in Afghanistan, Finn stopped art making for several years. Urged by friends to resume painting, she realized that, for her, without art, there is no life. Finn says: “My work tries to capture the authenticity of this Mexican festival while respecting those who have passed."
Coburg, Oregon artist Analee Fuentes exhibits four pieces in this year’s Día de los Muertos Exhibit, including an installation created in collaboration with Suzanne Tellez Campbell. One of her playful oil paintings, 30th Anniversary at Maude's, was created specifically for the 2023 exhibit. Fuentes says: “This celebration … keeps me in the moment. It’s a reminder that life is a magical wheel, not a finite event and that it is important not to take oneself too seriously."
Portland artist Juan Trujillo exhibits three selenium-toned gelatin prints from his "Máscaras" series. His imagery is created with multiple exposures, juxtaposing self-portraits with artifacts of cultural and religious significance. For Trujillo the “ghost-like figures and layered facial expressions reflect the ongoing process of reconciliation between lived joto/queer experience and religious indoctrination and the universal realities of life and death.”