The Icehouse Gallery will present a special Day of the Dead exhibition that begins Wednesday, October 19. The exhibition features works by students at Graves County High School and is being organized by Guild Board member and GCHS art teacher Laura Cope.
The “Day of the Dead,” or Dia de Muertos, is an event celebrated each year throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican ancestry living in the United States and other countries around the world. The celebration focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember relatives and close friends who have died, and to help support their spiritual journey. Although the celebration has only become a Mexican national holiday in recent decades, the observance dates back hundreds of years to the Aztec civilization.
The exhibition consists primarily of 2-dimensional drawings of painted masks, or calacas, the traditional representation of the skull, or calavera. Many of the images are adorned with marigolds, the flower of the dead. An altar, or ofrenda, has been set up along the south wall of the gallery by GCHS student Victoria Morales. Altars are traditionally set up around the graves of the deceased and picnics are often held where special food, sweet breads and sugar skulls, are served. The marigolds are thought to attract the deceased to the offerings.
The event culminates in a reception that will be held from 5 until 8pm on Tuesday, November 1. Day of the Dead-themed refreshments will be served. The Icehouse hopes to attract members of the Latino community to the exhibition and reception. Italy Orduna, MSU student and Guild Board Member, is providing Spanish translation services at the reception to help communicate with visitors whose primary language is not English.
The exhibition continues through Wednesday, November 2, the final day of the Day of the Dead celebration this year.
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The Mayfield/Graves County Art Guild and our Icehouse Gallery are supported primarily by contributions from our membership and the corporate community. Nine percent of our operating budget comes from the City of Mayfield, Graves County Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, which receives state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.