Spirited celebrations for a special ‘Dia’

Paintings by Shotsie Gorman, along with Caroline Hipkiss, Justine Filipello and Rose Byrne. Comprise the Day of the Dead art show at The Epicurean Connection. It opens with a free reception on Friday, November 1, 6 to 8 p.m. to include music by an altar to which community members are welcome to add photos, poems or mementos. to share. The altar will hang from November 1 through November 27.

If the ancient beliefs of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) are true, that on this day the souls of the deceased are lured back to mortal earth by prayers and tributes, the dearly departed will have a fine choice of offerings to visit again this year.

A display of altars, along with 70 cartoneria skeletons made by El Verano School students, are part of Dia de Los Muertos exhibition from La Luz and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Open now, the show will celebrate a free community reception on Friday, November 1, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Butterflies, a symbol of life, death and rebirth for many cultures around the world, are a design theme for Dia de Los Muertos observance at the Sonoma Community Center. Young artists from throughout the Valley contributed works to the “The Mighty Monarch” exhibit, which opens November 1 with a 5 p.m. reception including hands-on art activities for families and children. Butterflies will cascade into the entrance of the Community Center and inhabit a visually vibrant environment created within the gallery.

Also on November 1, at 7 p.m., the dramatic lighting of SCC’s outdoor community altar takes place in front of the center at 276 East Napa Street. The 12-foot towering art installation is the work of sculptor Jim Callahan, and the public is invited to add photos and paper butterflies in remembrance of friends and relatives. The altar will be on display though November 4. The gallery exhibits continue through November 4.

On the 31st, Valley floral designer Tasha Drengson will create the art piece “Bouquets to the Dead” at Sonoma’s Mountain Cemetery. A traditional Dia de los Muertos altar at the entrance leads to art installations within the cemetery, and Drengson invites the public to add their own tributes to loved one’s graves. The self-guided walk is free and open to the public from dawn to dusk on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2.

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