The Dunn Museum is part of the Lake County Forest Preserves, a Little Lake County advertising partner.
Halloween is not the only holiday celebrated in October. Beginning on October 31 and ending on November 2, families across central and southern Mexico will celebrate Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Not to be confused with Halloween, Día de Muertos is a festive, not scary, celebration of family and community. The newest exhibit at the Dunn Museum takes you to Mexico to experience “A Celebration of Souls” right here in Lake County.
A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico
Now – January 5, 2020
Developed by the Field Museum in collaboration with Mars, Incorporated, the exhibit features 26 framed color photographs taken in and around Oaxaca, Mexico. The photos take you inside the multi-day celebration where families and villages gather to commemorate deceased loved ones and welcome home their visiting spirits. Through the images, you can see the diversity of the rituals and the importance of the celebration. From home altars to colorful displays of flowers at cemeteries and parades through the streets, you get a true sense of the holiday and its value to the people of Mexico.
However this is not just a photo exhibit, and it’s not just for the adults. The Museum has created an immersive environment with plenty of hands-on activities for families. As you pass through the doorway of handmade flowers, you will see a replica of a candlelit ofrenda, an elaborate altar, lining one wall. Framed photographs are brought to life in a three-dimensional way and tie the exhibit back to the community using images and memories from Forest Preserve employees and volunteers. The entire exhibit is also offered in both English and Spanish and has several hands-on activities for children, including a coloring station.
The stars of the exhibit are the life-size catrinas, or calaveras, found throughout. A catrina is a cultural symbol of a skeleton, brightly dressed and depicting how the Mexican people see death and the afterlife. The Museum staff created all of these by hand and they are magnificent! Children should be encouraged to find all 5 of them take a selfie!
The final piece of the exhibit is a mural that the Dunn Museum commissioned from artist Robert Valadez. The three panels span 15-feet and are based on the famous artwork of Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) known for his whimsical figures of skulls and skeletons that have become closely associated with the Day of the Dead. Valadez, of Chicago, said his mural depicts notable people with connections to Lake County, both real and fiction, in a fun ballroom scene-setting. Marlon Brando, Ray Bradbury, Bess Bower Dunn, Adlai Stevenson, and Jack Benny are a few of the characters featured in the artwork.
“A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico,” is on exhibit September 28 through January 5 at the Dunn Museum in Libertyville.
$6 adults, $3 seniors, and youth. Children under 3 free. Download $1 off single admission coupon online.
Disclosure: Lake County Forest Preserve District is a paid advertising partner of Little Lake County, all thoughts and opinions are the writer’s own. If you are interested in having your business featured please contact us.