Students, staff, faculty and community members gathered on Nov. 2 to celebrate Día de Los Muertos with the Visual Public Art (VPA) department. The evening was filled with art, music and live performances from Aztec dancers.
Attendees were also invited to take free Pan Dulce and hot chocolate during the gathering. Inside one of the VPA buildings, there was a large-scale altar on display, along with smaller artworks from students, clubs, sororities and fraternities.
Fourth-year Gema Hernandez helped to organize the event and mentioned a lot went on in the weeks leading up to the night, between building sugar skulls or other decorations used for the event to face-painting workshops.
“It was just an epic experience as a whole,” Hernandez said. “We have this big beautiful space and event to share with all of you and I’m grateful I got to see a lot of faces come out because it really means a lot.”
Día de Los Muertos is often used as a way for families to remember and honor the people in their lives who have passed away. Hernandez spoke about the importance of Día de Los Muertos to her, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Día de Los Muertos is a way of honoring the people that I’ve lost, especially post-COVID because I lost a few aunts of mine during COVID so in a way this day is a way to heal from it and say ‘hey I remember you and you’re remembered and I love you,’” she said.
Hernandez continued, “to me, it’s always about connecting with people that you love and you lost in a way where it’s beautiful and celebrated and will not just make you sad but will also heal you.”