Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration


Location: Hesburgh Center, Great Hall

This event features an _ofrenda_ (altar) by internationally known artist Ana Teresa Fernández. Evening events are as follows: * Artist talk at 6:45 p.m. * Film screening of _Cine Indigenista: El Dia En Que Vienen Los Muertos_ at 7:45 p.m. (Recently re-released by Mexico’s National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples as part of a series of films about indigenous peoples made over the last 50+ years) * Music and dance by Mariachi ND, Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro, and Coro Primavera de Nuestra Señora throughout the evening

What is the Day of the Dead? _El Día de los Muertos_ is a Mexican tradition that honors the dead and celebrates the lives of those who have gone before us. Celebrated on November 2 by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America, and increasingly throughout the U.S., the Day of the Dead is not a mournful occasion, but a spirited holiday. Bringing food and music, families visit the graves of their loved ones, cleaning the headstones and decorating them with flowers. Images of skeletons dancing or doing other comical things are common, part of the philosophy that death is not something to be feared, but a natural part of life. What is an _ofrenda_? People celebrate the Day of the Dead in their homes, creating altars called _ofrendas_ that display portraits, favorite foods, and special possessions of their loved ones. _Ofrendas_ are also decorated with candles and marigolds (_cempasuchitl_), whose light and scent are said to attract the souls of the deceased and draw them back for a short time to take part in the pleasures they enjoyed in life. This year, Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies and the Snite Museum of Art commissioned the temporary installation of an _ofrenda_ by a U.S. or Mexican artist. This year’s _ofrenda_ will be installed in the Hesburgh Center Great Hall from October 24, 2011, until November 3, 2011. About the artist: Ana Teresa Fernández, who was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico, is an artist who works in sculpture, paintings, and video. Often performance based, her art addresses gender inequalities as well as border issues. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, Fernández won the 2007 Tournesol Award, which provides financial and community support to one young artist in the San Francisco area each year. Her public art has been displayed in San Francisco and South Africa and her work exhibited in galleries and museums in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, as well as in Haiti, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Mexico. She has held residencies in Haiti at the Fondation D’Art Jakmel and in Juarez, Mexico, through the LEF Foundation and taught at such institutions as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute, where she earned her MFA. For more information and examples of Fernández's work, visit her "personal webpage": Several of her pieces can be seen at the Snite Museum of Art until November 13, 2011, in the exhibit Chicanitas: Small Paintings From the Cheech Marin Collection. For more information, please visit the "Institute for Latino Studies website": Festivities are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Snite Museum of Art.