By Alexis Ordonez, Art Department Instructor/Department Chair
The Art Department at Alvin Community College celebrated its 10th annual Día de Muertos at the ACC Art building on November 1.
The event was open to faculty, staff, students, and the community. The celebration featured a range of activities, including traditional food, lotería games, face painting to transform into "catrinas" and "catrines," and the creation of a traditional Día de Muertos altar.
The creation of the altar is a central part of this celebration. A group of students and Art Department staff crafted various elements for the installation. The altar was adorned with artwork and memorabilia to honor diseased artists and friends. Contributions from various participants, including food and decorations, made this celebration an authentic expression of community sharing.
Thanks to the ACC Drama department, attendees had the opportunity to experience face painting in the distinctive style of Día de Muertos.
The event's keynote speaker, Saul Olivares, an ACC Spanish instructor and Foreign Languages Department Chair, provided attendees with a historical overview of the tradition, from its origins when the conquistadores introduced Catholicism to indigenous people to its contemporary expressions, including Alebrijes, mythical fantasy figures that represent the beauty, mystery, and magic of Mexico.
He also explained the various rituals, processions, vigils, music, and the significance of pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern imagery, including ofrendas, papier-mâché figures, and marigolds, which are ubiquitous and play a role in home altars.
The ACC Art Department's Día de Muertos is a vibrant celebration that honors the lives and friendships of our departed using colorful and joyful expressions of Mexican folklore. With Día de Muertos, we embrace the diversity that enriches our community.