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Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

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(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Next week isn’t just Halloween, it’s Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrating loved ones who have died.

Nov. 1 and 2 are All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day respectively. To celebrate, two local artistic venues have extensive exhibitions.

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts has To Life: A Day of the Dead Celebration in the Open Book Gallery. This is exhibit is the result of a competition, asking artists to submit postcards depicting their vision of Day of the Dead.

The results are wonderfully diverse, some whimsical:

wander mn2 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Amy Rea)

Some more contemporary:

wander mn3 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Amy Rea)

Some more eerie than others:

wander mn4 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Amy Rea)

And the winner of the competition, by Nuno Nunez, a detailed piece of cut paper art.

mcba winner Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Amy Rea)

The MCBA exhibit will be open through Nov. 6, and it’s well worth a visit. The hundreds of postcards on exhibit were submitted from all over the country and from a wide range of ages.

The other exhibit opens Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 4. The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts has its annual Young People’s Ofrenda: Expressions of Life and Remembrance exhibit.

wander mn51 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Minneapolis Institute Of Arts)

This exhibit is a wonderful outpouring of work from students at the high school in Austin, Minneapolis’ Thomas Edison High School and El Colegio High School and St. Paul’s Humboldt Secondary School. The students study the history and culture surrounding Day of the Dead, and then they create their own ofrendas — offerings, usually in the form of an altar or shrine in honor of a loved one who has died.
wander mn6 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Minneapolis Institute Of Arts)

The ofrendas themselves are so interesting, with varied viewpoints and items for honoring the loved one. But the students also create videos where they talk about what they’ve learned, why they chose the person for their ofrenda, what they observe when the visit the Institute to see artwork honoring the dead throughout the centuries, and what it all means to them. When the exhibit opens, the videos can be found on the Young People’s Ofrenda site.

wander mn7 Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

(credit: Minneapolis Institute Of Arts)

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. newscast on WCCO-TV on Sunday, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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