Press Release

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 9:27am
Oakland Museum of California Presents 23rd Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) Exhibition Oct. 18, 2017--Jan. 14, 2018 with Community Celebration Oct. 22
Metamorphosis & Migration Uses Monarch Butterflies as Metaphor for Transformation and Relocation Across Generations and Cultures in New and Familiar Works by Artists and Community Groups

(OAKLAND, CA) — Using the beauty, life cycle, and fragility of the Monarch Butterfly as a metaphor, the Oakland Museum of California’s (OMCA) 23rd annual Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) exhibition, Metamorphosis & Migration, honors the departed and inspires the living in an exploration of ancestral legacies and immigration stories of today. 

The exhibition, curated by Evelyn Orantes, will be presented in OMCA’s Gallery of California Art, featuring powerful and moving works by several notable artists. The extremely popular Days of the Dead Community Celebration, featuring performances, hands-on family art activities, art and craft demonstrations, an artisanal mercado, festive food vendors, and other special programs, will be held on Sunday, October 22, from 11 am to 4 pm throughout the Museum grounds and exhibition. Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.

Known for its mass migration each winter, the Monarch Butterflies’ journey spans several generations and follow the same routes their ancestors took. In Mexican tradition, the returning monarchs symbolize the returning souls of loved ones who have passed away.

In Metamorphosis & Migration, visitors will explore ofrendas and artworks inspired by the monarch’s migration and themes of tradition and transformation. The exhibition includes rarely-seen butterfly specimens from OMCA’s collection alongside newly commissioned and familiar artworks. Artist Hung Liu honors her mother’s passing through a series of heartfelt paintings. Favianna Rodriguez ponders migration and immigration in a new way using her “Migration is Beautiful” butterfly imagery. Chris Treggiari and Peter Foucault honor colleague Alex Ghassan, who lost his life in the tragic Ghost Ship fire. Sculptor Fernando Escartiz contributes a large-scale papier maché skeleton carrying a suitcase, symbolizing the cultures immigrants bring to their new land. Preceding the exhibition opening, Jet Martinez will create a mural on OMCA’s Oak Street Plaza, welcoming all visitors with a celebration of marigolds and Monarch Butterflies. 

Completing the exhibition, traditional Days of the Dead altars by Bea Carrillo Hocker and Rafael Jesús González, as well as installations by Oakland International High School and Thornhill Elementary School, will energize this communal space for reflection and empowerment in these turbulent times.

Community Celebration
The 23rd Days of the Dead Community Celebration on October 22 will feature main stage performances ranging from contemporary popular music to folkloric dance, Mariachi to Aztec dance. An artisanal mercado will highlight the OMCA Store and local vendors featuring traditional and contemporary apparel, craft, artwork, and food. Altar installations throughout the Museum campus will include contributions from local community groups, including schools, nonprofits, and community partners. A selection of festive food highlighting the Bay Area’s diversity of cuisines will be offered for purchase from Off the Grid vendors, and Bike East Bay will provide a bike valet service.  

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA's groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California's cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California's dynamic cultural and environmental heritage.


VISITOR INFORMATION
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $4 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum. museumca.org

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & PROJECTS 

Question Bridge: Black Males
September 29, 2017February 25, 2018

Hailed as one of the Bay Area’s Top Exhibitions in 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Question Bridge: Black Males returns to the Oakland Museum of California this fall. Immerse yourself in intimate videos—woven together and arranged to simulate face-to-face conversations between participants—among a diverse group of 150 black men across the United States. Hear these men answer each other’s questions with exceptional honesty and vulnerability, and share stories, beliefs, and values in a personal portrayal of their lives. Encompassing themes of family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, and wisdom, Question Bridge: Black Males presents nuanced portraits of past, present, and future of black men in American society. Listen, watch, learn, and start your own conversations with this profoundly moving installation.

In 2012, the Oakland Museum of California presented Question Bridge: Black Males, an innovative and widely exhibited video installation from artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. Joining the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Brooklyn Museum, OMCA is proud to acquire this groundbreaking and poignant work for its collection.

Nature's Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown
October 7, 2017–January 21, 2018
This fall, experience the world premiere of Nature's Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown, a dazzling immersive experience that takes you through the rainbow into another world. A one-of-a-kind and interactive environment by FriendsWithYou—the artist collective including Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III—the large-scale, light-filled installation sparks joy and positivity, and sets the stage for friendship, magic, and social connection. A soothing, multi-sensory experience for all ages, we invite you to allow your senses to get lost in this imaginative and otherworldly place. There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition in addition to regular Museum admission.

Take Root: Oakland Grows Food
December 16, 2017–January 13, 2019

Unearth Oakland’s multi-layered world of food in Take Root: Oakland Grows Food, an exhibition exploring the ecological and cultural factors of how and why food is grown in Oakland. Enjoy this hands-on exhibition with the entire family to understand what factors determine where, how, why, and what is grown throughout the city. Hear personal stories from farmers and growers within the community, see compelling illustrations and maps, and meet the diverse flavors of Oakland. Learn what motivations Oaklanders have for growing food—including access to healthy and delicious ingredients, environmental and social justice values, or simply the joy of tending a garden. Visitors will be invited to share personal stories, explore interactive activities, and gain a deeper understanding of Oakland’s agriculture.

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom

March 24–August 12, 2018

Hip-hop is one of the widest reaching cultural and social movements of the last 50 years. Discover the unexpected story of how hip-hop changed the world, starting from its roots on the streets, before rap, DJing, street art, breakdancing, and street fashion launched into mainstream popular culture. Learn about the West Coast’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s influences on this global phenomenon. Hear first-person accounts from artists and experts about how, beyond big business, hip-hop continues to provide a platform for creative expression, activism, youth development, and education. There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition in addition to regular Museum admission.

J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art & Everyday Life
April 21–September 26, 2018
Discover Northern California’s best kept secret in design and craft: J.B. Blunk (1926–2002), a mid-century artist whose connection to nature governed his daily life. Inspired by Japanese philosophies of nature and art’s inseparability, and influenced by rural utopian communities, Blunk’s muse and often his source of materials was the beautiful natural environment of Inverness, California. Blunk’s home property was his ultimate work of art, filled with his handcrafted furniture, ceramics, sculptures, and other functional objects used by his family. His remarkable craftsmanship also took the form of large-scale public works of art, including The Planet, a redwood sculpture commissioned by the Oakland Museum of California in 1969. J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art & Everyday Life brings together a comprehensive survey of the artist’s works. See Northern California’s landscape anew through Blunk’s eyes, and get inspired to find the beauty of nature and art in your own daily life.

 

ON VIEW
 

Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact
Through October 22, 2017
This exhibition in OMCA’s Gallery of California Natural Sciences takes a look at the wildly diverse and intricate world of one of the most important creatures to human agriculture and the natural environment. Through family-friendly experiences, hands-on activities, and media, Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact touches on topics of honeybees and Bay Area beekeeping, the diversity of California native bee species, citizen science projects, and the similarities between bees and humans. Visitors will discover real bee specimens under a microscope, crawl through a human-sized beehive, and try on a beekeeper suit. In an immersive gallery environment, visitors can explore the causes of bee population decline, learn about the significance of bees to California's economy and ecosystems, and discover how simple but powerful actions by Californians can help bees to survive in a changing world.



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