Dia de los Muertos

October 3 - November 29, 2020

This community-centered altar exhibit features traditional Mexican altars with sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts, and photos or personal items of deceased relatives to honor the souls of the departed. The Day of the Dead, an ancient religious celebration that originally honored children and ancestors, has evolved from a blend of Meso-American and Christian cultures, and those traditions come to life with this celebratory exhibition at FWMoA featuring memorials created by artists, families, and community groups from throughout the region.

Dia de los Muertos, the holiday, is considered a festive time when family members remember and honor their dead and the continuity of life. A series of artist and family-made altars fill a FWMoA gallery, often honoring deceased loved ones or groups of individuals who have died for a cause or as a result of persecution or injustice. Common symbols include colorful skeletal figures, laughing in the face of death, or the glamorous Catrina, based on a famous etching by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada, which depicts a female skeleton dressed in aristocratic styles of Europeans of her time. This figure satirizes those Mexican natives who Posada felt were over imitating European traditions of the aristocracy in the pre-revolutionary era. 

Here's how you can be involved in this exhibition!

Participate in the 2020 Community Altar
The Community Altar is included in the exhibition as a way for you to honor a deceased loved one publicly in the FWMoA Dia de los Muertos exhibition! In 2020, we're simplifying the Community Altar to keep everything hands-free for you and our staff! Here's how it works:

  • Honor your deceased loved one in name only     
    Fill out the form at the link above with your loved one’s name, and we’ll write their name on a paper butterfly and place on the Community Altar. Due to limited space and supplies, we are only able to accept the first 100 submissions.

  • Honor your deceased loved one with a photo and short caption   
    Fill out the form at the link above with your loved one's name, their photo, and a short message about their life, and we'll display this information on the Community Altar. Due to limited space and supplies, we are only able to accept the first 50 submissions.

For both options, submissions are accepted between September 18-November 20, 2020. Questions can be directed to Capri Williams at capri.williams@fwmoa.org.

Submit an Altar Proposal
Members of the community are vital to this exhibition! Join others in their love of the Dia de los Muertos altar tradition in creating an altar for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Download the application below to send us your proposal by September 28!

Sponsored by 


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