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Lawndale Art Center Announces 25th Annual Día de los Muertos

25th Annual Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead at the Lawndale Art Center

25th Annual Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead at the Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center is pleased to present its 25th Annual Día de los Muertos programs, a celebration of the art, music and practices of Mexico. For over twenty years Lawndale Art Center has presented an annual open call, non-juried exhibition that celebrates the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos in a contemporary context.  This program supports area artists and students by offering them an opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum quality setting. Over the years additional programming has been developed to educate audiences and encourage dialogue in celebration of Mexican-American heritage in our region. Día de los Muertos programs and exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center promote cultural awareness of Mexican folk art practices associated with this celebration of family, life and community.

Event Schedule

Retablo Exhibition
October 22 – November 10, 2012

Gala / Retablo Silent Auction
October 25, 2012, 7 – 9 p.m.
Member and Sponsor Preview, 6 – 7 p.m.

Musical Ofrenda
October 30, 2012, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Performances begin at 6:15 p.m.

Sugar Skull Workshop
November 1, 2012, Demonstrations at 6 and 6:30 p.m.

Family Day Fiesta
November 3, 2012, 12 – 4 p.m.

Papel Picado Workshop
November 7, 2012, 6 p.m.

Event Details

Retablo & Student Exhibitions
On view October 22 – November 10, 2012

In 1988, Lawndale Art Center presented its first annual Día de los Muertos exhibition of retablos: small art works inspired by the traditional Latin American devotional art form of the same name. It is now one of Lawndale’s most popular programs that reaches out to communities across the region. Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on 8″ x 10″ pieces of sheet metal. These retablos are then sold at the gala to benefit both Lawndale and the artists. Many well-known Houston and nationally known artists participate; the exhibition attracts a large audience and the gala is one of the most fun parties in Houston!  Día de los Muertos is Lawndale’s only open-call, non-juried exhibition. The retablo Silent Auction is our single largest fund raising event of the year.

This year’s participating artists include:

The Art Guys, David Aylsworth, Debra Barrera, Domokos Benczedi, Krista Birnbaum, Elaine Bradford, Penny Cerling, Felipe Contreras, Carrie Cook, Rene Cruz, Kevin Curry, Claire Cusack, Nancy Douthey, Jane Eifler, Loli Fernandez, Carmen Flores, Sean Flournoy, Monica Foote, Lauren Moya Ford, Sebastian  Forray, Dixie Friend Gay, Tommy Gregory, Ann Harithas, Joel Hernandez, Linda Hofheinz, Butch Jack, Sharon Kopriva, David Krueger, Diane LaFranca, Laura Lark, Jonathan Leach, Cody Ledvina, Apama Mackey, Jason Makepeace, Nina Craig Makepeace, Lester Marks, Gabriel Martinez, Ken Mazzu, Randall McCabe, Daniel McFarlane, Nick Meriwether, Rahul Mitra, Seth Mittag, Pen Morrison, Kia Neil, Aaron Parazette, JoAnn Park, Eric Pearce, Donna E. Perkins, David Politzer, Mark Ponder, Britt Ragsdale, Cheyanne Ramos, Patrick Renner, Darcy Rosenberger, John  Runnels, Charlie Sartwelle, Kay Sarver, Alfred Scaroina, Louise  Schlachter, Brian Neil Sensabaugh, Anthony Thompson Shumate, Carole Smith, Al Souza, Shane Tolbert, Patrick  Turk, Randy Twaddle, Rachelle Vasquez, Myke Venable, Monica Vidal, Dandee Warhol, Scott Woodard, Katie Wynne, Jo Zider and Paul S. Ziegler

Lawndale encourages teachers to educate their students about important aspects of Mexican culture and their related art practices and offers schools the opportunity to display their work in our Cavnar and Horton galleries. In past years, students have submitted projects such as sugar skulls, papel picado, papier mache skeletons, retablos, altars and other large-scale installations.

Gala / Silent Auction
Thursday, October 25, 2012, 7 – 9 p.m.
Member and Sponsor Preview, 6 – 7 p.m.
Event Chairs: Bevin Bering Dubrowski and Dan Dubrowski
Admission: $50 / $35 for Lawndale members

The festivities begin with a silent auction Thursday, October 25. The auction of retablos, created and donated by nearly 250 Texas artists, will feature contemporary interpretations of this traditional, devotional art. Guests will also enjoy Día de los Muertos exhibitions in the Cavnar and Horton galleries which feature the works of Houston school children. DJ set by Glasnost. Complimentary food and drink provided for attending guests by local restaurants. For ticket information, call 713-528-5858.

Musical Ofrenda
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Performances begin at 6:15 p.m.

Join us for an evening of celebration and remembrance. During Día de los Muertos families create ofrendas or altars to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. A River Oaks Chamber Orchestra chamber group and Musiqa composers will present short original contemporary, classic compositions as musical ofrendas. Inprint will also present original readings written in the tradition of making an offering during the Día de los Muertos celebrations. This event is a partnership between ROCO, Inprint, Musiqa and Lawndale Art Center.

Sugar Skull Workshop
Tuesday, November 1, 2012, Demonstrations at 6 and 6:30 p.m.

In conjunction with our 25th annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering a sugar skull making workshop. The workshop is free and open to the public. Registrations is requested as space is limted. To register, please email Bring a bag of sugar and add it to the mix or just drop in for a quick demonstration. All participants may take home one sugar skull and a printed recipe.

Family Day Fiesta
Saturday, November 3, 2012, 12 – 4 p.m.
Admission: Free

Lawndale’s 25th annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries.  Sugar skulls, papel picado, papier mache skeletons, retablos, altars and large-scale installations are just a few of the many projects on display.  Guests will enjoy hot chocolate and pan de muerto and various children’s activities, such as decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Paedarchy Puppets.

Papel Picado Workshop
Thursday, November 7, 2012, 6 p.m.

Houston art educator and Lawndale supporter, Jean King, will lead a papel picado workshop free and open to the public as part of this year’s Día de los Muertos celebration.  Visitors will not only learn about the traditional art of Mexican paper cutting from one of the best, but will also get to create and take home their own unique perforated paper creation.

About Día de los Muertos

Every year, according to Mexican folk tradition, the living honor the return of the souls of dead family and friends on November 1 and November 2. The first of November is reserved for the return of departed children and the second for adults. The living celebrate the return of the dead with elaborate home altars and graveside arrangements composed of the deceased’s favorite foods and keepsakes.  For more information on Día de los Muertos as celebrated in Mexico as well as at Lawndale Art Center, please visit our Día de los Muertos Teacher’s Resource page,

About Lawndale Art Center 

Lawndale Art Center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art. Lawndale is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art with an emphasis on work by Houston artists. Lawndale presents exhibitions, lectures and events, and offers an annual residency program to further the creative exchange of ideas among Houston’s diverse artistic, cultural and student communities.

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