The Museum of Latin American Art’s annual Día de Los Muertos Altar Exhibition is now on display to feature the works of Southern Californian artists.
The exhibition’s theme focuses on celebrating Latin heritage, ancestry, history, community beliefs, and connections.
“[It has been an] annual tradition for at least more than five years,” said Gabriela Martínez, director of education for MOLAA. “It is connected to the Day of the Dead…It was a juried expedition. It was an open call [for art submissions] to everyone [in Southern California]…the theme is generation to generation.”
One of the MOLAA displays is “Coatlicue with Child” by Tatiana Delfina Preciado which depicts Coatlicue, an Aztec goddess with the face of actress Yalitza Aparicio from the film “Roma.”
“She is creating this connection between ancient indigenous communities and contemporary indigenous communities,” Martínez said.
Cory Bilicko, an artist and Long Beach resident, had his “History Herstory” showcased at the exhibit.
“This piece was actually part of a solo exhibit that I had this summer in which I celebrated my favorite places to visit in California,” Bilicko said. “My favorite natural places, natural landmarks, like Big Sur, Idyllwild [and] Palm Springs.
“I used old photographs, some of which are from my own family [and] others are from other sources,” he added. “And I broke this [art] into four parts, so it’s supposed to look like four different photos from four different time periods.”
Bilicko got involved with art when he used it as a form of therapy when his mother passed away in a car accident.
“Learning about the holiday [Day of the Dead] helped me to come to terms with my mother’s death,” Bilicko said. “So, even though I’m not Mexican or Mexican American, I related to the holiday in that way. It helped me to realize that when you lose someone … it’s not just about being sad, it’s about celebrating their life.”
Charlene Kai, a recreation specialist for Signal Hill, said that most of the kids she brought with her to the exhibit are Latino. She said that they were proud and excited to see the culture through the art from different Hispanic countries.
“I think that it opened their eyes up cause they’re in middle school,” Kai said. “They don’t understand things until they see it.”
MOLAA’s Día de los Muertos Exhibition will be displayed until Nov. 10.