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Dead Center

Tracing its history back as far as 3,000 years ago, to the original inhabitants of what is now Mexico, El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a festival during which the living honor the dead by offering them sweets, decorating their graves and sharing fond memories of them. Filled with candy skulls, festively dressed skeletons and humorous anecdotes and poems about the deceased, it’s a considerably less somber and more celebratory death tradition than most Americans are used to. Today the tradition, though still primarily observed by Mexicans, has spread all over the world. Locally, the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 South Allison Parkway in Lakewood, hosts an extended Día de los Muertos celebration that starts today and continues through October 31.

The LCC is presenting three art exhibits that explore and illuminate the Day of the Dead: a solo by artist Carlos Frésquez; a juried show called Dancing With the Dead; and Rest in Beauty, a collection of cremation urns by Sumi von Dassow. A public reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 28. The three exhibits offer a great way to get a closer look at one of the world’s more joyful and fascinating afterlife traditions.

All three are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; the Frésquez exhibit and von Dassow’s Rest in Beauty are also open for viewing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 303-987-7876 for more information.
Sept. 15-Oct. 31, 2008


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