Day of the Dead Special—Day of the Dead Festival brings life to La Aurora

Maestra Margarita Fick standing in front of the altar she dedicated to Capulina.

Día de Muertos has to be one of the most fantastic and colorful times of the year to be in Mexico and for the artist community and businesses at the Fábrica La Aurora it is a great excuse to really dress the place up and invite the community to enjoy and perhaps learn more about the timeless Mexican tradition. As per usual at the Aurora celebration, the Fábrica has chosen a non-profit to benefit and to champion their importance during the party and this year that honor goes to the ever-needed and desperately underfunded Mexican Red Cross who struggles valiantly daily to serve the growing San Miguel community. The pertinence to the celebration should be fairly obvious- if you don’t give, next year’s altar may be dedicated to you.

Every year for the festival no expense is spared in the entertainment department. Upon arrival there will be marimba in the entrance patio. Then as the marimba starts to fade out you will catch the mariachi band further in and by the end of the night, you will surely be swinging your partner to the sweet sounds of Trio Los Románticos or Trio Los Compadres, who will be rolling out the nostalgia.

It is also customary during this event for each studio and gallery to present its own unique altar dedicated to the deceased of their choosing. What is an altar you ask? Well, it is a fantastic and often elaborate offering to entice the dead to come back to be amongst the living. Be on the lookout for a beautiful multi-tiered, colorful assembled altar covered in bright colorful hand-cut tissue papers, full of the favorite food, booze and trinkets of the deceased being summoned. Make sure to visit each gallery and artist studio to see each of their personal altars.

The main altar in the entrance patio will be a very special altar staged by the master cut paper artist Margarita Fick with the help of the lovely staff of Galería/Atelier and will be dedicated to the great Mexican comedian Capulina who passed away just a few weeks ago after a successful career entertaining three generations of Mexican families. If you don’t know Capulina, look up “El Santo vs Capulina” for some real “old school” Mexican cinema. Another altar in honor of the also recently deceased surrealist artist Leonora Carrington will be located near the café and will be created by local artist James Harvey. Expect an altar as surreal as the art of the artist. The final altar will be located in Section C of the Fábrica and will be built by Mary Breneman and Jim Corcoran in honor of the long dead Mexican Master David Alfaro Siquieros.

A few special exhibits will also happen for this special occasion. Galería Alebrije is presenting a special collection of oil on canvas in celebration of the Day of the Dead, which includes paintings by Guadalajara Artist; Mario Oliva and Australian Artist, Rossmore James Campbell. Both Artists are based in SMA and will exhibit themed paintings of the Mexican Death culture from ancient Aztec goddesses to the more contemporary Catrina. Galería-Estudio Rolando García will be celebrating the closing of the exhibit for local etching artista Adolfo García. At Galería/Atelier don’t miss the assemblage show by French artist, Claude Mathey. There are wonderful stories being told there. Also they will be showing new work by papel picado and San Miguel’s favorite new artist in town, Margarita Fick.