Día de los muertos Celebration at SUMA

In honor of the Mexican holiday, el día de los muertos, or the Day of the Dead, the SUU Spanish department partnered with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) to present a night of community celebration on Friday, Nov. 2nd.

“We have been commemorating (the) Day of the Dead for four years now at SUU,” said Junice Acosta, an assistant professor of Spanish at SUU, and one of the events’ main organizers. “Through this celebration we share an important aspect of our culture not only with SUU but also with the larger Cedar City community. Learning about other cultures allows us to open a door to other ways of living and thinking and hopefully to value more the importance of diversity in our own lives.”

The Day of the Dead is originally a Mexican holiday, held on the 2nd of Nov., to remember those who have passed on, and celebrate their lives.

The event featured several activities, such as candy-skull decorating, face-painting, performances of ballet folklorico (traditional Mexican dances), a prize drawing, and traditional mexican food.

The main feature of the evening was an alebrije (or fantastical mexican creatures, that are typically multi-colored, and combinations of several other animals) student art competition. The winners of the art competition were Chloe Condie for best of show, with Mary Ellen Draper, Hannelore Lamers, and Francesca Gatti receiving awards of excellence, and Olivia Braiker also receiving recognition for painting the poster for the event.

“I really liked the dancing,” said Lucy Tayco, a senior from Murray, Utah, studying creative writing. “You could tell they had put a lot of time and work into learning their routine. Also, the Day of the Dead art exhibit was beautiful, and there lots of fun activities. I would definitely recommend it.”

Tanner Vario, a junior from Tooele, Utah, studying Spanish, was also instrumental in the planning of the event, especially as part of his EDGE project.

“I hoped to learn more about event planning in general, how to partner with other organizations and be a unified team to get the desired outcome,” said Vario, “I hoped that others on campus and in the community could gain a better understanding of the Hispanic culture in a fun and interactive environment.”

SUMA has other activities open to students, such as yoga in the gallery, and their new Korean art exhibit. More information can be found at: https://www.suu.edu/pva/suma/

Story By: Treyson Lyon
Photo By: Mitchell Quartz