Songs and Sorrows: Días de los Muertos 20th Anniversary – Oakland Museum

Carmen Lomas Garza’s Songs and Sorrows at the Oakland Museum of California
(Photo by Oakland Museum of California)

To continue our series of articles about American death inspired art, we feature the Songs and Sorrows exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. As we continue through this holiday season, let us not forget the loved ones who are with us in spirit.

The Oakland Museum of California’s Songs and Sorrows exhibit highlights some stunning Dias de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, artwork. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated around the world, although with unique style in Mexico. Traditionally including sugar skulls, altars to the dead, and favorite foods, this remembrance also celebrates the lives of departed loved ones.

We may think of grief and mourning when losing a loved one, but Day of the Dead is a celebration honoring life and the continuation of the life cycle. Day of the Dead is about friendly reunions with the spirits of those we cared for.

Frequently hosting festivals and parades, the Oakland Museum of California has been carrying on the Dia de los Muertos celebration for 20 years. Located in a 300,000 square foot, mid-century modern building, at 1000 Oak St., Oakland, California, the museum is committed to supporting its local community heritage.

From October 8, 2014 to January 4, 2015, the Oakland Museum of California is showcasing Dia de los Muertos in its Songs and Sorrows exhibit, with displays of pre-Hispanic funerary and contemporary art that spans the history of this unique tradition.

Featured artists in the museum’s Songs and Sorrows exhibit include: Jose Guadalupe Posada, a printmaker whose art features skulls and skeletons; Carmen Lomas Garza, who specializes in painting representations of everyday lives of Mexican Americans; Patssi Valdez, who paints colorful depictions of the Day of the Dead; and Jesse Hernandez, who paints cartoon-like skulls using striking colors.

All the artists featured at Songs and Sorrows exhibit are bold.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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