Skip to content

Songs and Sorrows: Días de los Muertos 20th Anniversary

October 8, 2014–January 4, 2015

Artistic and community voices from the past, present, and future will come together for this year’s Días de los Muertos exhibition and related programs, marking two decades of the Oakland Museum of California’s commitment to uniting Bay Area communities around healing and remembrance. Highlighting contributions from pioneers of Días de los Muertos celebrations in the Bay Area and newer voices that continue to evolve this living tradition, the exhibition will include works from Jose Guadalupe Posada, Carmen Lomas Garza, Patssi Valdez, and Jesse Hernandez, among others. Co-curated by OMCA Senior Experience Developer Evelyn Orantes and Guest Curator Bea Carrillo-Hocker, Songs and Sorrows, the 20th anniversary of the exhibition at OMCA, will explore the tradition from its pre-Hispanic origins to its present expressions in California. Pre-Hispanic funerary artifacts, Mexican folk art, contemporary art, and installations will convey the iconic imagery and the aesthetic and spiritual qualities of this festival.

One of the nation’s most beloved celebrations of the Mesoamerican and Californian tradition, OMCA’s exhibition and community celebration continue a commitment to honoring the customs of Días de los Muertos while introducing visitors to contemporary practices. Días de los Muertos are traditionally celebrated between October 31 and November 2, and are associated with iconic elements—sugar skulls, marigolds, colorful ofrendas or offerings—arranged or created to honor deceased loved ones.
Don’t miss OMCA’s 20th Anniversary Days of the Dead Community Celebration, taking place in the Museum gardens on Sunday, October 26, 2014, featuring craft activities, tasty food, dance and music groups, colorful altars and more, bringing the community together for this healing tradition.

Songs and Sorrows: Días de los Muertos 20th Anniversary is made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, Kaiser Permanente, and the California Arts Council.         

Kaiser Permanente
California Arts Council
3-Viviana Paredes_lo-res
5-Carmen Lomas Garza_lo-res
7-Richard and Graciela Rios_lo-res
9-Jose Guadalupe Posada_lo-res
6-Miguel Linares_lo-res
10-Skull Candle Holder_lo-res
8-Joe Mariscal_lo-res
4-Patssi Valdez_lo-res