Museum Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

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EUGENE, Ore. — Halloween is Wednesday night. But for many, Nov. 1 is just as important–a celebration of life.

It’s called The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Los Muertos. And at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, you’ll find a wonderful alter display. TheĀ altar has three levels. There are sugar skulls, fruits and breads, and traditional Mexican folk art. It’s bright and colorful. Some of the work was made by students at Oak Hill School.

It’s all part of the fifth time the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art has hosted a Dia de los Muertos altar.

This year it’s dedicated to Carlos Fuentes, a well-known Mexican author and poet and the University of Oregon’s own Anne McLucas, former dean of UO School of Music. The ofrenda is meant to honor family members who have passed on.

“It’s a way for anyone to understand this tradition. We traditionally celebrate Halloween, which is spooky and scary. Latino culture has a real respect for death. It’s a happy occasion,” said Debbie Williamson-Smith.

Part of the celebration is a ceremony on Nov. 1 from 6-9 p.m. It will include music, art activities and students reading works by Carlos Fuentes. The event is free. It’s also free to visit the altar.

The museum display is open Wednesday and Thursday. You’ll also find another display at the Maude Kerns Art Center, which is just down the road. It’s open through Nov. 2.

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