ARTE AMÉRICAS presents the
 26th Annual Dia De Los Muertos exhibit 

This annual exhibit features artwork, altars and artwork in the Ruiz Gallery by over twenty artist from throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley.   From tradition altars to modern interpretations of the ancient celebration -- each savoring the spirit and sentiment of Dia De Los Muertos.  A series of workshops, lectures, and events will also be presented in conjunction with the exhibit in and around Fresno's Cultural Arts District.
Upcoming events in conjunction with the exhibit: 
  • Arts & Crafts workshops for all ages presented each Saturday in October.  Be sure to check our events page for full listing
  • Sunday October 13  The Search For Posada: a free lecture by Posada collector and expert Jim Nikas from 2pm-4pm
  • Sunday October 20: Artist reception  from 2pm-4pm
  • Saturday October 26: Dia de los Muertos Photography Workshop
  • Friday November 1: Arte Americas collaborates with the PINCHE Party at Fulton 55 from 7pm-2am 
  • Saturday November 2: CalaGala event on the Fulton Mall and in the Plaza at Arte Américas.   CLICK HERE for CalaGala info!


The Mexican tradition of El Dia De Los Muertos has inspired the most festive, somber, emotional celebrations since indigenous times on our continent, and the metamorphosis of this holiday is the very history of Mexico.   From the native traditions through the conquest and conversion to Catholicism, the the unique Mexican expression that is celebrated annually.

At the same time that this custom is "dying" in its more traditional aspects, it is being revived in the U.S. Southwest as an expression of cultural identity and a celebration of the arts through the challenge of the death motif.

The traditional celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos on November 2 is based on the indigenous belief that once a year the departed could return to Earth and visit.  Although they could not be seen, they could know and take comfort in their family's remembrance of them.   

Altars are constructed in homes and at gravesites, decorated with the gold FLOR DE MUERTO (flower of death), candles, and the favorite foods of the deceased that they are celebrating. 

The spirits are said to take the essence of the food, enjoy the celebration, and leave before dawn.  There are sad stories -- but they are of the spirits who returned to find nothing. 

Some families in the Southwest still celebrate the traditional aspects of El Dia De Los Muertos, especially those  from the areas of Michoacan or Oaxaca where the customs are still observed.  In Mexico, it is still a time for sugar skull candies, the PAN DE MUERTO (sweet bread of the season) and the broadsides -- satirical and political cartoons epitaphs, reminding everyone of our inevitable fate.

 The Mexican skeletons -- CALACAS -- are not intended to frighten.  They are toys for children and function more as clowns.  There is even some comfort in seeing these calacas dance and celebrate the dey with us, a magical and mystical time when we can imagine and reach out across time and culture.