Dia de los Muertos comes to The W

Tara Baucom


The W’s Art & Design building hosted an exhibit for Dia de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead.” 

The exhibit is a collection of personal pieces put together by Beverly Joyce, Erinn Holloway and Jo Shumake. It is the second year this exhibit has been set up in the Art & Design building. Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of ancestors who have died. The holiday is marked thoughout Latin America, but is predominantly celebrated in Mexico. 

 “It’s a Mexican tradition of honoring a family’s deceased loved ones, and they believe that on certain days, family members come back in spirit and the family can kind of honor them and revisit with them,” said Joyce. 

The most recognized connection to the holiday is the artwork that the families and artists create to represent their loved ones. Holloway said that where displays are placed can be important.

 “If an altar is outside with offerings, those are to honor the dead who have deceased in a non-natural manner, like been murdered or suicide,” said Holloway. 

Shumake purchased most of her pieces while living in Mexico. She also attended an exhibit in Mexico City that displayed pieces from the different states of Mexico. Each piece is constructed differently by the artists and tend to vary in design across the country, but the altars and spirit of the holiday are present in each one.

“These are not trained artists, but they take a lot of pride in their work and try to come up with slightly different variations,” said Shumake. 

This holiday gives families a time to be at peace with death while also welcoming the spirits of their ancestors back into their home.