Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014

Best Local Artist

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Guadalupe helps keep Day of the Dead thriving

Photo: Veronica Luna, License: N/A

Veronica Luna

Detail of an altar at Guadalupe


The day of the dead — which has one foot in ancient Aztec culture and another in the exploitation of Misfits T-shirts — is all about being alive. At its most secular dia de los muertos, with its sugar skulls, sweet day of the dead bread, and those colorful paper offerings to the underworld, may easily be written off by the uninitiated as about as spiritual as that Tim Burton claymation movie Corpse Bride. At its most serious and traditionally observed, the Latin American holiday with corresponding cousin Samhain in Europe, is a holy alert calling for happy altars.

Like the Oingo Boingo song says, it’s a dead man’s party... and sooner or later we all get our invitation.

Due to the extreme inclusiveness of the event, dia de los muertos requires an active community. Since its inception in 1980, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, with its cinematic festivals and local arts installations, has been providing just that. Committed as they are to preserving and presenting Latino culture, they have done their part in making the tradition a date to mark and remember. “Dia de los muertos is a project that we prepare for all year long, and we take very seriously,” says event coordinator Anel Flores.

This year’s November 2 event commences with the annual Dia de los Muertos Parade in front of San Antonio Cultural Arts’ Peace and Remembrance mural, located at Trinity and San Patricio, and finds its climax at Guadalupe and South Brazos streets, where reverent revelers will congregate before GCAC’s César Chávez Building. There will be, as in past celebrations, a community altar where locals are encouraged to leave mementos of their loved ones now gone. Along with the reverential markings there will be how-to classes — sugar skull creation and calavera face painting — to keep the tradition going. Along with plenty of pan de muerto and hot chocolate, there will be a performance by the Guadalupe Dance Company to enliven the observance.

In past years, the event has been geared more toward artists. Last year, San Antonio’s shamanic visual master David Zamora Casas contributed his haunting and socially pointed pieces to the event. This year there will be no single artist’s work celebrated. Instead, the Guadalupe is partnering with several groups and causes, including the San Antonio Eye Bank, completing an altar in honor of organ donors who have given the gift of sight, and the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, who will create an altar for families who have lost loved ones to domestic violence.

If there are no specific artists represented this year, there will be a definite academic aesthetic. “It has almost become faddish and more about the artistic elements than about the real reason for having an ofrenda” says Norma E. Cantu, who teaches Mexican-American literature at UTSA and is building an altar with her students in one of the Guadalupe windows dedicated to Chicano writers like Tomas Rivera, Gloria Anzaldua, Raul Salinas, Ricardo Sanchez, and recently deceased UTSA professor Debbie Lopez.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus