Art gallery celebrates Dia de los Muertos

Laura Lofgren

Mexican holiday honors the life and death of departed loved ones

Sharing space with Turnup Records, Standing Rock Cultural Arts gallery in downtown Kent will take a different spin on the traditional Halloween celebration this fall.

The seventh annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, show commences with an 8 p.m. opening reception Saturday, Oct. 31.

This festive Mexican holiday is celebrated to honor all those who have passed.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Opening reception:

8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 31 Downtown Kent

Jeff Ingram, executive director and curator of Standing Rock, said the show will be a celebration of life after death. This holiday reconfirms annually the love, goodwill and generosity that the beloved can count on, even though they are dead.

“A lot of people will offer photographs and ideas . mementos of loved ones,” he said. “We’ll be putting up an altar in the window so people can put candles to remember loved ones.”

Contributing artists Ally Carr and Jim Jewell are creating two giant puppets for the annual downtown Halloween parade. A 9-foot tall skeletal bride and 11-foot tall groom, the puppets will be able to move with the aid of their creators and will be displayed at the reception as well.

The reception Saturday will open the gallery, offering the audience art, culture, food, drinking and music all night, Ingram said. Music choices include nine bands, with music ranging from world music to DJ mash-ups to noise bands.

Vince Packard is offering a tarot-inspired, Lewis Carroll acrylic painting depicting skulls and an “Alice in Wonderland” figure in the foreground.

Cari Miller, a first-time contributing artist for the show, is offering two pieces to the exhibit. The main focus of both acrylic paintings is the sun.

“To me, the celebration of life is the sun,” she said. “That’s kind of the source of everything.”

Other contributing artists include Martyn Flunoy, Kate Uhrich, Kelley Hayes and more.

Hayes, who has created a shadow box, said she will be remembering her her Grandfather in her artwork. The shadow box will hold a portrait of him as well as a bird’s nest and chicken eggs.

“He loved birds,” Hayes said. The nest she is using is the same one that grandfather watched out of his bed at the hospice he lived in. Hayes said he went very slowly due to multiple strokes and wanted to capture him with a smile on his face.

“I told a joke, and he laughed and I caught it,” she said, speaking of the portrait.

Expect to see paintings, collages, photographs and puppets in the local gallery that promises an unforgettable show.

The gallery will host the Dia de los Muertos exhibit through Nov. 28. Gallery hours are open Thursday through Saturday 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. The gallery is located at 257 N. Water St. 330-673-4970.

Contact School of Art reporter Laura Lofgren at [email protected]