(Above: La Muerte by artist Aunia Kahn)

Edited by Randi Bjornstad

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Maude Kerns Art Center’s Dìa de los Muertos exhibit, which will be on display through Nov. 3. The 2023 edition includes art by 29 artists as well as photographs of cherished holiday celebrations by five Mexican photographers.

It also features traditional altars created to honor dead loved ones, as well as a Day of the Dead gift shop created by Suzanne Algara of Buganvilla Imports. This year’s exhibit is underwritten by Lane Forest Products.

Skulls and skeletons are frequent images in Dìa de los Muertos art; this piece, El Sol, is by Laurel Gravem Alvarez.

The Art Center will host a Dìa de los Muertos Family Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. Admission is free, and activities include making sugar skulls, paper marigolds, and storytelling with the holiday theme.

This year’s collection of artwork comes from four U.S. states as well as Mexico, and includes a wide variety of art forms, from painting to metal sculpture to photography.

The Mexican photographers who have contributed their images that highlight the ways Dìa de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico are Juan Carlos Reyes, Alejandro IV Barrágan, Maricela Figueroa Zamilpa, Fernando Soto, and Salva Sandoval.

The show also includes seven altars — ofrendas — that are traditional to the Mexican observances of the holiday and are dedicated to departed loved ones. This year, one altar is dedicated to the memory of Susan Dearborn Jackson, one of the originators of the Dìa de los Muertos exhibit at the Maude Kerns Art Center.

Some of the artists who have created work for the show have poignant stories to tell about their creations. Eileen Finn, from East Wenatchee, Wash., has a mixed-media piece in the show that she calls Sainthood, recalling the loss of several of her friends in Afghanistan that led her to quit creating art for several years, until friends urged her to take up painting again to honor them and the importance of art in life.

A frequent contributor to the annual exhibit as well as other shows at the Maude Kerns Art Center, Coburg artist Analee Fuentes has four pieces of art in this year’s exhibit, including one created for this year, titled 30th Anniversary at Maude’s, which Fuentes calls “a reminder that life is a magical wheel, not a finite event …”

Dìa de los Muertos exhibit

When: Through Nov. 3, 2023

Where: Maude Kerns Art Center, 1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene (corner of 15th and Villard streets)

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday when exhibits are on display

Special event: Dìa de los Muertos Family Day, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28

Information: 541-345-1571 or online at mkartcenter.org

Mexican photographer Fernando Soto’s picture of an ofrenda, or altar, created to honor the departed