Dia de los Muertos at the Volcano Arts Center

This year, Volcano Art Center and East Hawaii Cultural Center are collaborating in the remembrance of loved ones who have passed away with a two-day celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.”  Based on the actual dates of this ancient cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos will take place on November 1st and 2nd, 2011 in both Hilo and Volcano.  During this event, Volcano Art Center will host an exhibit of artwork based on the subject of death, loss, mortality and the passage of time, ending with a fiesta celebration of life on the evening of the second day. With traditional art, food, a community shrine and costumed procession through town, participants of all ages are invited to join in the festivities with skeletal face painting or masks.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos celebrations are often lively, colorful gatherings of friends and family who bring flowers, photos, mementos and even the favorite foods of their loved ones to create memorials or “altars.” Lee Walczuk, local performance artist and theater aficionado, brought notice to the event in past years by creating shrines and activities “in contemplation of the inevitability of our mortality and the dearly departed.”

On Tuesday, November 1, an evening procession takes place in downtown Hilo, beginning and ending at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Participants are encouraged to dress in themed attire and bring flowers and candles in jars to illuminate the path with light and color.  Personal sentiments may also be shared in short, individual readings of three minutes or less.

 

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

On Wednesday, November 2, guests are invited to dine and dance the night away in a decorative, energetic finale at Volcano Art Center.  Tickets go on sale October 8, 2011 and are available for purchase by calling (808) 967-8222.  Advance tickets are $12 or $15 at the door.  Attendees will savor complimentary pupus, community art and special entertainment.  Art will be available for purchase as well as limited edition Dia de los Muertos jewelry by Artist Amy Flanders.  Participants cast their votes for the most impactful, inspirational and festive submissions from artists of all ages who contribute to the exhibition and awards presented.

In anticipation of this spectacular event, free Shrine Making and Mexican Folk Art activities are offered at both Volcano Art Center and East Hawaii Cultural Center in the weeks preceding the event.  Those inspired may contribute to the community shrine by lending their own memorial objects, photos, flowers or embellishments to the display.  For details on this event, visit Volcano Art Center’s Dia de los Muertos page at www.volcanoartcenter.org. To find out how to get involved, contact Anne Catlin at community@volcanoartcenter.org.

Volcano Art Center is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization created in 1974. VAC promotes, develops, and perpetuates the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawai’i through the arts and education.

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