Each year, El Día de los Muertos celebrations are planned throughout Mexico and abroad as a means of remembering and honoring deceased loved ones. In many parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, Japan, Nepal, and the Philippines, families commemorate loved ones in similar celebratory festivals. El Día de los Muertos is thought to have originated 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, and the festivities developed from the traditions of Olmec, Aztec, Maya, Zapotec, and other pre-Hispanic civilizations in Mexico and Mesoamerica.
This Sunday, Oct. 30, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., prominent Oaxacan artist Fulgencio Lazo will travel to Central Washington to craft a 25-by-30-foot sandpainting at the Mighty Tieton Warehouse Gallery for Mighty Tieton’s second annual Day of the Dead Celebration. Combining his original vision with customary Oaxacan techniques, Lazo is producing a unique sandpainting for the event using hundreds of pounds of sand.
From sketching to color application, building the sandpainting necessitates a group of 15 volunteers and takes two days to complete. Through a Kickstarter campaign, Mighty Tieton has raised enough financial support to purchase basic supplies for the installation, including material costs and compensation. In addition to sugar skull building and pan de muerto (dead bread) baking, other family festivities scheduled throughout the day feature food, music, crafts, and storytelling. A giant Guatemalan kite crafted by Maya kite-makers will also be on display.
For details about supporting the project on Kickstarter and information about incentives offered to financial backers, including a handcrafted sugar skull and print from Fulgencio Lazo, click here.
The festival, exhibition, and craft activities are open to the public with a suggested donation of $3. A video of last year’s sandpainting event in Tieton is below.
The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 30 to Nov. 13, Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.