Preview: Day of the Dead: Una Exhibiciòn

Death is a part of the life cycle that doesn’t have to be feared dreadfully. Day of the Dead is a chance to have an uplifting experience while remembering loved ones who have passed away. On Friday, October 6th the Greater Denton Arts Council will kick off an exhibiciòn of ofrendas (altars) with a variety of performances and offerings.

Hopefully the GDAC can spread a traditional respect for a spiritual culture through the community. The opening reception will include food from Boca 31 and several creative performances. One such performance will be provided by Teatro Dallas, a premier Latino theater company that aims to preserve the tradition of Day of the Dead. After the reception closes there will be a mini-parade to Black Box Theatre with lanterns, drummers, and dancers. There TWU Department of Dance will present a show in collaboration with Artists Enclave of Denton County. 

The ofrendas on display are presented by Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, students of the Hispanic Honor Society and Denton Independent School District, Ghosts of Denton, and LULAC Denton. These beautifully designed altars are meant to welcome back spirits. These altars include items of remembrance. If your abuela couldn't get enough Skittles, then it'd be appropriate to leave a fresh bag on an altar. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own items to a community altar that will be set up. 

Ofrenda for Nick Thrasher

The altars are more than a display of iconographic images. They are meant to establish personal connections. Last year, much of the Denton community came together to build a shrine for the beloved Nick Thrasher. Some of the items that represented him well included a bike, liquor, and pictures of him with his friends. For Sara Norman, it was a way to reconnect with someone she deeply loved. Norman says, "I was happy to create something that would communicate who he was because a lot of the community enjoyed Nick." 

The opening reception begins at 6pm on Friday, October 7th. Around 8pm, there will be a mini-parade towards the Day of the Dance show at Black Box Theatre.

Header image design by Jason Lee