A group of 15 local artists are marking Dia de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — with their colorful artistic interpretations of this Mexican celebration, which stems from an ancient Aztec ritual. This special exhibit at Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative is open and runs through Nov. 8 at the downtown Gloucester shop.
“We want to celebrate the artists, family and friends who have gone before us and who have been our inspiration,” said Lois Hertzler, who organized this show with fellow members Donna Amero and Kathy Bucholska.
There will be a free fiesta reception Nov. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. with music and refreshments.
The exhibit will highlight Day of the Dead art, as well as a festive ofrenda, or altar, where the public is invited to write a note of remembrance for a loved one.
“It is a holiday that is often misunderstood by New Englanders as it occurs around the same time as Halloween,” said Bucholska in a statement. “Unlike Halloween with its scary characters, this holiday celebrates the return of departed loved ones two days a year with food, photographs, flowers and drink.”
This holiday welcomes back departed family members on the first two days of November through music, brightly decorated sugar skulls and orange marigolds. The event is intended to be a happy occasion to celebrate loved ones. Day of the Dead art often depicts brightly festooned skeletons doing everyday activities as imagined in the afterlife, according to the organizers.
“Since our cooperative’s anniversary falls at approximately the same time of year as the Day of the Dead, we are using this event as an opportunity to also celebrate our 24th anniversary and remember our humble beginning as well as the many artists who have passed through our doors,” said Amero.
Day of the Dead art often involves satire and humor about the human condition, and to that end, the window displays have a satiric theme.