Lawndale Art Center celebrates Dia de Los Muertos

Ajani Stewart, Staff Photographer

Dia de Los Muertos, or, The Day of the Dead, as it is known in English, is the Mexican holiday in which families remember their departed loved ones and gather together to be with their souls for a day of celebration and prayer.

Families visit cemeteries to decorate or clean the graves of the dead. They also put out offerings such as candy, fruit, alcohol, pan de muerto and religious pieces.

The tradition of Dia de Los Muertos has diffused into Texas culture through a unique and hefty Hispanic influence. It provides another dimension in the spectrum of diversity for the City of Houston.

A volunteer Lawndale Art Center’s Dia de Los Muertos exhibit, Emily Link, says “Our original location was in the east-end off of Lawndale Street, which is where we get our name, so the celebration originated there,”she contines “since they were in the east-end there was more Hispanic community influence.”

Lawndale and its volunteers host the event annually for Hispanic and non-hispanic individuals alike. Link says, “We try to engage the Hispanic community and also get artists in the arts community to take the time to research Day of the Dead and find out what it means to them”.

Individuals in Houston and several Houston-area schools to submitted Day of the Dead themed art to be placed in the exhibit and later bided on in a silent auction.

“All of the artists that participated, we ask to have the art Day of the Dead themed,” she later says, “we have a teacher’s resource page on our website and, the students who participated had to deal with Day of the Dead.”

The yearly exhibit is on its twenty-eight year and it continues to bring together Hosuton’s community around a holiday that is important in opening cultural boundaries.

Lawndale Art Center’s Dia de Los Muertos exhibit continues until the Nov. 7 in the Houston Museum District, 4912 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002. Admission is always free. Exhibit times are: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm, Saturday 12–5pm, closed Sunday.