October 7, 2020

Arts Council Hosts Day Of the Dead Workshops

DAY OF THE DEAD: The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will celebrate El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with socially distanced outdoor workshops beginning October 10 and running through November 7.  Participants will be invited to display their work in ACP’s “Day of the Dead Exhibition” in the Taplin Gallery from November 1-14.

Join the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) as its celebrates El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with socially distanced outdoor workshops beginning October 10.

El Dia de los Muertos is observed in Mexico and throughout the world this time of year, where family and friends gather to remember and honor those who have died. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars using sugar skulls, marigolds, and favorite foods of the deceased to celebrate their lives.

Workshops will adhere to all mandated guidelines, including proper social distancing, temperature checks, and face masks. Some workshops require a few things brought from home to help ensure safety. The ACP will provide hand sanitizer for frequent use. In the event of inclement weather, workshops will be held in the spacious Solley Theater.

Saturday, October 10 from 3-5 p.m., brings “Papel Picado and Paper Flowers.” The art of cutting paper banners is a true talent in Mexico, traditionally done with chisels. Participants will make the festive tissue paper banners that flutter over every plaza, shop, and doorway during Day of the Dead. Flowers are also a large part of the holiday, gathered in bunches and placed at cemeteries. Learn how to make a bouquet of the brightly colored cempoalxochitl flowers the ACP has used to decorate their altar and the annual festival.

On Saturday, October 17 from 3-5 p.m. the workshop isNichos and Calaveras.” A nicho box, or simply “nicho,” is a three-dimensional box used as a small, portable shrine to an important figure or loved one. Create your own contemporary Dia de los Muertos nicho using whimsical accents, collage, paint, glitter, and other embellishments. Participants are encouraged to make the nicho their own by bringing old photos, trinkets, or artwork along with them.

Jose Guadlupe Posada was a Mexican lithographer who created Mexico’s most famous calavera, La Calavera Catrina, for posters, prints, and other images. Catrina has become a beloved figure and iconic symbol of Day of the Dead. Learn the history behind skulls and skeletons as a representative image for Day of the Dead and embellish not only your own Catrina, but additional skeleton and skull projects.

On Saturday, October 24 from 3-5 p.m. the workshop isSugar Skulls.” Everyone loves making and decorating sugar skulls for Day of the Dead. In ACP’s previous festivals, attendees made hundreds. Learn how to mix the sugar with meringue powder to pack into a traditional mold. Royal icings are used to embellish the sugar skulls, which are typically placed on the altar of ofrenda. Wear clothing you won’t mind getting messy and see how magical a sugar skull can be. Note: Students need to bring their own mixing bowl and spatula.

Saturday, November 7 from 2-4 p.m. brings “Traditions of Day of the Dead for Child and Caregiver.” This workshop is designed for a child and a parent or caregiver to complete projects together. Receive a tour of ACP’s vibrant El Dia de los Muertos gallery installation and learn the customs of this colorful, art-filled holiday. Then join the instructor for creating your own nichos, papel picados, Calaveras, or paper flowers.

For more information and to register, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.