New Día de los Muertos exhibit opens in Ontario

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Local museum showcases art from local artists, honors Mexican ways.

In honor of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, Ontario’s Museum of History and Art is showcasing different artwork from Oct. 5 – Nov. 12 by local artists that exemplify the meaning behind one of Mexico’s oldest traditions.

This exhibit was created to educate the community on the history of Día de los Muertos, which is typically celebrated Oct. 31 – Nov. 2.

John Worden, director of Ontario Museum of History and Art, said the museum’s main concern was for each art piece to pay homage to Mexico’s tradition.

“This is an invitational exhibit, meaning that artists are invited to submit artwork or to create an installation. We look forward each year to the range and quality of artwork that is provided,” Worden said.

The exhibit provides two opportunities for attendees to participate. The first is through a citywide ornament-making contest. The second is by the making of a community altar related to the theme of the exhibit, “Everyday Heroes.”

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Annette Armas’ árbol de Nopal, or Cactus Tree, is a three-dimensional piece of art that gives viewers a feel of what it is like to be part of the Mexican culture.

“Arma’s artwork spoke volumes to me,” said Maria Luevanos, junior kinesiology major. “To some, this may just be some cool-looking skeletons but for me, it reminded me how important family is even after they are gone.”

Día de los Muertos is not mourning but a celebration of life and death.

The exhibit gave Diana Negrete, junior psychology major, a sense of nostalgia.

“Seeing this exhibit has brought back many memories. As a little girl, my family and I would cook the favorite meals of our dearly departed family members,” Negrete said. “We then would leave the food on their graves as a way to nourish their souls and send them love and positive energy.”

This exhibit is free to the public and ends Nov. 12. The museum is open Thursday–Sunday from 12 p.m. –4 p.m.

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