Dia de los muertos 2014 poster

Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Blackwell School Alliance, The Chinati Foundation, and Marfa ISD will host Día de los Muertos activities throughout the last two weeks of October, culminating in a gathering to celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones with a community altar on Sunday, November 2, 2014. Bertha Zubiate, retired educator from Presidio, will lead many of the activities again during the third annual event. Everyone is invited. Activities are bilingual, for all-ages and free of charge.

Zubiate and Chinati’s art education staff will work with local students from Marfa Elementary and Jr. High from October 20 – 31 as part of the local school day. From these workshops, students will learn the folk art, symbolism, and cultural richness of Día de los Muertos and contribute their crafts from the workshop to the community celebration.

The public is invited to spend the afternoon at the historic Blackwell School on Saturday, October 25, learning to make votive candles from 4 – 6 pm. The candles will also be used to decorate the Día de los Muertos community altar. Refreshments will be served and Blackwell alumni will be on hand to give tours of the school. Blackwell School is located on the corner of West Waco and Galveston Streets on the south side of Marfa.

The Día de los Muertos gathering and ceremony on Sunday, November 2 takes place at The Chinati Foundation Arena. A talk and workshop led by Zubiate begins at 2:00 pm. Participants will learn the rich history and symbolism of the holiday and decorate a large community altar in keeping with the Día de los Muertos tradition of honoring and celebrating the lives of deceased loved ones. All activities will be taught in both Spanish and English.

Papel picado (cut paper) banners, alfombras de aserrín (sawdust carpets), and colorful crepe paper flowers will be crafted and added to the community altar, along with the votive candles, calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), pan de muerto (bread of the dead), cempasúchil (orange marigolds), and other crafts from the Marfa ISD and Blackwell School workshops. Everyone is encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia of those they wish to remember to place on the altar, including loved ones’ favorite foods, beverages, and other objects of remembrance.

Once the altar has been covered with decorations, flowers, photographs and candles, the celebration will continue with a community potluck beginning at 5:30 PM. Please bring a dish to share with friends and neighbors. Drinks will be provided.

For more information please contact Chinati at 432 729 4362 or Michael Roch, education coordinator, at mroch@chinati.org.