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'Los Colores De La Muerte: A Day Of The Dead Festival' Art Exhibit

Promotional graphic for "Los Colores De La Muerte: A Day Of The Dead Festival'' Art Exhibit. Courtesy of California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Above: Promotional graphic for "Los Colores De La Muerte: A Day Of The Dead Festival'' Art Exhibit. Courtesy of California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

The “Los Colores de la Muerte: A Day of the Dead Festival” art exhibit will include galleries showcasing photographs, paintings and sculptures celebrating the ancient Mexican holiday known as "Day of the Dead."

One of Mexico’s most celebrated photographers, Mario Castillo, will return to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido (the Center) Museum this fall in a new exhibition that commemorates the festive and reflective Mexican holiday of "Día de los Muertos."

“Los Colores de la Muerte: A Day of the Dead Festival” will open November 1st, the first day of the annual festivities during which family and friends gather to honor and celebrate the lives of those who have passed. The exhibition will run one month only, concluding Sun., Dec. 1.

With a Spanish title that means “The Colors of Death,” the new exhibition will, in fact, be very colorful and a true feast for the eyes. Vibrant paintings and photographs as well as ornate, white clay sculptures of Catrinas—costumed skeleton figures that have become a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances—will pop against the dark purple and burnt-orange walls of the galleries.

Gallery 1 will feature the work of Mario Castillo, whose photographs were previously on display at the Center Museum last fall in the show “Heart & Soul of Mexico.” Castillo’s Day of the Dead exhibit, titled “Polvo Eres,” will include 35 of his photographs, depicting different tombs from cemeteries in Mexico.

Gallery 2, the largest of the museum’s spaces at 3,600 square feet, will feature 15 paintings on canvas of Catrinas, all created by Paris-based artist Cristina Rubalcava, who was introduced to the Center by the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. The consulate is helping the Center bring Rubalcava’s works from the Mexican Embassy in Paris to Escondido.

To complement Rubalcava’s paintings, the Center is partnering with Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (IMAC), the City of Tijuana’s arts and culture department, to display 10 white clay sculptures of Catrinas.

In addition, the Center is partnering with Universidad de Tijuana CUT to display an altar in Gallery 2. Two architects, Rodolfo Ortiz Guerrero and Gloria A. Morales Mendívil, from the university’s Department of Architecture agreed to install an altar that will have as its main theme the anniversary of the artist José Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator and political satirist whose work left an indelible mark on Mexican pop culture and folk art. His prints of skulls and skeletons have strongly influenced Day of the Dead imagery, even inspiring the Catrinas that are now icons of the holiday.

Museum Hours:
The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $8; tickets for seniors, military and students are $5; Center members and children 12 and under get in free.

Admission on the opening day of “Los Colores de la Muerte: A Day of the Dead Festival” is free for all. For more information, visit www.artcenter.org/museum.

Location: California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum 340 N. Escondido Boulevard Escondido, CA 92025 Google Maps

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