Building Community Through the Arts, a community outreach program of Purdue University Northwest (PNW), celebrates Día de los Muertos from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at PNW’s CHESS Art Gallery, 7011 Indianapolis Blvd., Hammond, Ind. Doors open at 4.30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music and fun with their extended community, both living and departed.
The College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (CHESS) and Odyssey Arts invite families and the local community to take part in the festivities. The celebration will showcase altars, or ofrendas, that pay homage to deceased loved ones – family, friends or ancestors, calaveras literarias, face painting, a live mariachi band and traditional cuisine.
The event also will feature an art display by prominent Mexican artist Nicolás de Jesús. His work carries themes of Mexican rural life, celebrations, and beliefs, as well as politics and world events. Many of his pieces express complex immigration problems in the United States, concern for preserving his cultural identity, and some represent Day of the Dead celebrations. His work often combines traditional composition with whimsical characters.
For more information about the event, call (219) 989-2401, or visit the Facebook page at Facebook.com/pnwchess.