Día de los muertos celebration: Oct. 26-31

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Art at center of Día de los muertos celebration

Printmaker Daniel Gonzalez uses art to bridge the divide between the U.S. and Mexico

Throughout Mexico and Latin America, the day of the dead, or día de los muertos, on November 1 and 2 celebrates and commemorates those who have passed away with vibrant costumes and celebrations. Local residents can participate in the celebration this year with a week of art exhibitions and workshops led by Daniel Gonzalez, a printmaker and graphic artist based in Los Angeles.

The exhibition, hosted at the Ypsilanti District Library, will feature traditional Day of the Dead ofrenda or altar to honor those who have passed. Members of the public will be invited to add artm photos, or memories honoring loved ones who have passed away to create a community driven art exhibition. Graduate students at the University of Michigan will also install an altar in the ethnic studies lounge at Haven Hall.

In addition to the ofrenda, the library will display Gonzalez’ intricate relief printmaking work. Many of his pieces include the skull images that are associated with the Day of the Dead, but his work also blurs the borders between art, activism, community, and academia. Inspired by his childhood in Mexico, his art parallels many of the political, social, and cultural movements relevant to Latino/a Americans living in the U.S.

“I feel that it is my responsibility as an artist to be a vehicle for culture, to inspire a sensibility of the creative, to pierce the fence we have built to keep ourselves apart and to remind people of the common experience we share in life,” Gonzalez says in his artist statement.

Gonzalez will also offer free art workshops for youth and teens to create paper flowers and sugar skulls to add to the altar as well as an adult art workshop in relief printmaking, and offer lectures at the University of Michigan, hosted by the graduate student group The Border Collective.

“Viewing and making art is an opportunity to bring people together and start new conversations,” said Lori Coryell, Assistant Director at the Ypsilanti District Library. “We have a strong Latino American community here in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, and we were thrilled to work with the University of Michigan to bring such a respected artist here to help celebrate that culture.”


The Day of the Dead celebration is presented with support from the University of Michigan Departments of American Culture, Romance Languages and Literatures, the Latina/o Studies Program, the Museum Studies Program; and the Ypsilanti District Library.

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Daniel Gonzalez’ profile and artist statement is available on his website: www.printgonzalez.com


Schedule of Events:
All events are free and open to the public. View all items on our events calendar, or on our facebook page.

Exhibit Opening and Artist Reception
Monday, October 26, 7pm
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI
Exhibit will be on display from October 26-November 24

Adult Printmaking Workshop
Tuesday, October 27, 7pm
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI
Registration Required: 734-482-4110 x1377

Youth Paper Flowers Workshop
Wednesday, October 28, 4pm
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI

Teen Sugar Skulls Workshop
Wednesday, October 28, 5:30pm
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI

Lecture: Arts, Community, and the Day of the Dead
Thursday, October 29, 5pm
3512 Haven Hall, University of Michigan
505 State Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Spanish Storytime and Crafts
with featured artist Lidia Rodriguez Kaku
Saturday, October 31, 10:30am
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI


Gillian Gainsley
Ypsilanti District Library

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