Monday, October 06, 2008

The Day of the Dead at the Figge, Nov. 2

The thing you need to understand about the Mexican Day of the Dead (otherwise known as November 2, All Souls Day) is that the skulls and skeletons are not meant to be scary or spooky as they are when used in American Halloween decorations. The skeletons symbolize those who have died, our loved ones who have passed on. Leading up to the Day of the Dead, Mexicans set up altars in their homes honoring those who have died. On the Day of the Dead they gather at the cemetery to decorate the graves of their loved ones and to have a picnic.

These designs have been created by Moline graphic artist Rafael Gonzales and donated to Moline’s Casa Guanajuato. There will be T-Shirts with these designs printed on them for sale (as a fundraiser for Casa Guanajuato) at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport Nov. 2, 2008 as part of this year’s Day of the Dead festival. There will be a display of altars similar to the ones Mexicans create in their homes as well as Mexican music and food and dancing by the Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico.

Artist Jesus Pastor from Cortazar, Guanajuato, Mexico, who has been sponsored by the Cultural Institute of the state of Guanajuato and the city government of Cortazar to spend a month in the Quad Cities, will give a lecture on the meaning and symbolism of the Day of Dead. Between now and then Senor Pastor will be designing and building an altar to be displayed at the Figge honoring the more than 70 women who have been murdered during the last few years around Juarez as well as those who have died in the desert coming from Mexico to the United States. From what he has said about his plans for the altar it promises to be stunning and magnificent.


Matt said...

very exciting. when i lived in chicago, one of my favorite museum "seasons" was this time of year when the Mexican Museum of Fine Art did their huge DOTD exhibit. it was amazing.

and dave - if you find yourself at the Figge any time between now and the end of November, i am the coordinator for this local leg of a nationally traveling printmaking exhibit that is on display there right now. it's a group show of features the work of myself and several other Illinois State University printmaking alumni, who have moved all over the country (Denver, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and so on) to teach art and exhibit art. it's in the Arts Cafe at the Figge space. if you catch it, let me know what you think - good, bad, or indifferent. the reception is from 5-7pm on Halloween (dang... prime trick or treating time...) here's the scoop:

the poster:

more work from the exhibiting artists:

Nowhere Close to Normal and Other Print Works

Dave Barrett said...

Sounds like the Figge is going to be a busy place at the end of October and beginning of November. Matt, I will definitely check out the printmaking exhibit when I am there November 2 if I don't have an occasion to go there before then.

Matt said...

do you know Rafael? does he work at a local design agency? if so, he's a friend of a friend. i really want a t-shirt of that first image.

Dave Barrett said...

Rafa works for Hanson Watson in Moline. Aren't those designs cool!?

Matt said...

yup, that's him. i'm definitely buying a shirt. thanks for the heads-up, dave, and let me know what you think of our group show.