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Día de Muertos: A Time to Grieve & Remember Our 35th annual Day of the Dead exhibition honors and celebrates the lives of lost loved ones through this time-honored tradition.

September 10 – December 12, 2021 Main Gallery
Photo of painting by Marilu Alvarez called Disemia
Marilu Alvarez (b. 1972), Disemia (Dyssemia), 2020, acrylic on canvas / acrílico sobre lienzo, NMMA Permanent Collection, 2021.473, Purchased by the National Museum of Mexican Art Staff in memory of Leonard E. and Dorothy C. Meyers

The 2021 exhibition pays tribute to and remembers the numerous individuals from Mexico and the U.S. who in the past two years have died from COVID-19. During the pandemic, many of us were heartbroken to be unable to spend time with our loved ones. As we are now able to gather, we join together to grieve and remember the ones we lost during these two years. The collective act of mourning is a fundamental aspect of annual Day of the Dead commemorations, and offers a healing way to acknowledge, accept and bear the inevitable. Please join us for our 35th annual Day of the Dead exhibition to honor and celebrate the lives of lost loved ones through this time-honored tradition. In this exhibition, we invite you to contemplate this moment with new artistic expressions by local artists and site-specific installations created by artists from both sides of the US-Mexico border.


Sandra Cisneros, Héctor Duarte, Alejandro García Nelo, Enrique García, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Jorge A. Puch Mukul, George Rodriguez, Adam Toledo family, Yollocalli Arts Reach



Josefina Aguilar, Marilu Álvarez, Marcial Ayala, Cecilia Beaven, Antonia Candelario, Ricardo Carbajal, Familia Castillo, Yreina Cervántez, Carlos Cortez, Aurelio Díaz, Shirley Fisher, Dianna Frid, Guillermo Gadda, Arturo García, Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, José Juan Garcia Aguilar, Jorge Garza, Gennaro García, Joel Hernández-Millen, Leticia Huerta, Luis Jimenez Jr., Manuel Manilla, Isabel Martinez, Roberto Montenegro, Arely Morales, Ann Murdy, Azul Nogueron, Rick Ortega, Antonio Pazaran, Fernando Ramirez, Teresa Romero, Moises Salazar, Sergio Sánchez, Juan Solís, Charles D. Townsend, José Valdez, Vincent Valdez, Gabriel Villa, Martha Villagómez, Carina Yepez


Cesáreo Moreno


All images below are a glimpse into the exhibition for those who could not attend in person. Photo Credit: Michael Tropea.

Exhibition Highlights

Exhibition Highlights

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Resource Listing


City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Joyce Foundation
Chicago Park District
Illinois Arts Council a State Agency

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