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Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead

October 18, 2017–January 14, 2018

This year, OMCA’s biennial Days of the Dead exhibition, curated by Guest Curator Evelyn Orantes, is inspired by the lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Known for its mass migration each winter, this butterfly’s journey spans several generations, all of whom follow the same routes their ancestors took. In Mexico, the returning Monarchs also symbolize the returning souls of loved ones who have passed away. 

In Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead, explore ofrendas and artworks inspired by the Monarch’s migration and themes of tradition and transformation. View rarely-seen butterfly specimens from OMCA’s collection alongside newly commissioned 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 and all who lost their lives in the tragic Ghost Ship fire and West Oakland fire of March 2017. A new mural by Jet Martinez welcomes visitors in the Oak Street Plaza. Fernando Escartiz’s giant papier maché sculpture depicts a traditional Día de los Muertos calavera. And, traditional Days of the Dead altars by Bea Carrillo Hocker and Rafael Jesús González, as well as installations by Oakland International High School with Sara Stillman and Thornhill Elementary School with Kathrine LaFleur, energize this communal space for reflection and empowerment in these turbulent times.

Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and members of the Donor Forum

Oakland artist Jet Martinez mural Resilience at the Oakland Museum of California