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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Anciso

The Tree of Life and Death: Dias de los Muertos 2013

October 9, 2013-December 8, 2013 The Tree of Life and Death: Dias de los Muertos 2013 Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607 The Mesoamerican tradition of Días de los Muertos, celebrated between October 31 and November 2, is associated with iconic elements—sugar skulls, marigolds, colorful ofrendas—arranged or created to honor deceased loved ones. This fall, OMCA presents its 19th annual Días de los Muertos exhibition, The Tree of Life and Death: Días de los Muertos 2013, guest curated by renowned muralist Eduardo Pineda, and project managed by Senior Experience Developer Evenlyn Orantes. Housed in the transformed Gallery of California Natural Sciences, installations by guest artists will fuse the themes of life, death, and mourning with ecology, focusing on topics including indigenous knowledge, empathy, habitat and species loss, and accountability for preventing such losses through conservation and action. The Tree of Life and Death: Días de los Muertos 2013 exhibition will feature new work by nine visual artists examining themes of remembrance, interactions between humans and nature both of this world and in the afterlife, environmental issues such as endangered and extinct species, and other related topics. Several of the works will be site-specific and installed among the natural sciences exhibits in the Gallery, offering an expanded and interactive visitor experience. Guest curated by Bay Area artist Eduardo Pineda, The Tree of Life and Death will highlight new, commissioned works in the form of ofrendas (altars) by Natalia Anciso, Amy and Sal (El Chamuco) Cortez, Rubén Guzman, Fernando Hernandez, Nancy Hom, Ernesto Olmos, Samuel Rodriguez, Karen Seneferu, and Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt. In addition to individual artists’ altars, the exhibition features community altars by the Educational Coalition for Hispanics Organization (Oakland), students from La Escuelita (Oakland) with lead artist Jose Ortiz, and students from Bancroft Middle School (San Leandro) with lead artist and teacher Lee Rosenberg.

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