23th Annual Día de los Muertos
October 18-November 6, 2010

On View Jan 7 to Feb 24

Lawndale Art Center is pleased to present its 23rd Annual Día de los Muertos events, a celebration of the art, music and practices of Mexico. For over twenty years Lawndale has presented an annual open call, non-juried exhibition that celebrates the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos in a contemporary context.  This program supports area artists and students by offering them an opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum quality setting. Over the years additional programming has been developed to educate audiences and encourage dialogue in celebration of Mexican-American heritage in our region. Día de los Muertos programs and exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center promote cultural awareness of Mexican folk art practices associated with this celebration of family, life and community.

Retablo Exhibition

October 18 - November 6, 2010

In 1988, Lawndale Art Center presented its first annual Día de los Muertos exhibition of retablos: small art works inspired by the traditional Latin American devotional art form of the same name. It is now one of Lawndale’s most popular programs that reaches out to communities across the region. Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on 8” x 10” pieces of sheet metal. These retablos are then sold at the gala to benefit both Lawndale and the artists. Many well-known Houston and nationally known artists participate; the exhibition attracts a large audience and the gala is one of the most fun parties in Houston!
Día de los Muertos is Lawndale’s only open-call, non-juried exhibition. The retablo Silent Auction is our single largest fund raising event of the year.

Visit our Flickr page for images from the exhibition!

Retablo Pick-Up Reminder

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the gala and silent auction and bid on retablos and to the many artists who donated work. Retablos will be available for pick-up from Monday, November 8 through December 23. For your convenience, we will extend pick-up hours on Monday, November 8 until 7PM. After that time, retablos can be picked up during normal office hours Monday-Friday, 10AM - 5PM, and Saturdays 12 - 5PM.

Please note, Lawndale will be closed Saturday, November 13, but will be open again for Saturday hours following the opening of our exhibitions on November 19th.

Community Ofrenda

October 18 – November 6, 2010

Starting October 18, guests are encouraged to bring a personal item of remembrance to add to our community altar honoring departed loved ones.


Gala and Retablo Silent Auction

Friday, October 22, 2010
Artist, Member and Sponsor preview 6-7 PM
Gala and Silent Auction 7-9 PM

Event Chairs
Dr. Penelope Gonzalez Marks & Miri Wilkins

Admission: $45 per person
$35 for Lawndale Members
Available at the door

The festivities begin with a silent auction Friday, October 22. The auction of retablos, created and donated by nearly 250 Texas artists, feature contemporary interpretations of this traditional, devotional art. Guests will also enjoy Día de los Muertos exhibitions in the Cavnar and Mezzanine Galleries which feature the works of Houston school children.Refreshments provided by Cabo Wabo Tequila, Catering by Culinaire, The Chocolate Bar, El Tiempo Cantina , Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Picnic, Saint Arnold Brewing Company , t'afia, Tacos A Go-Go , and vitaminwater along with food from local restaurants and Latin grooves by Mr. Bristle and friends.

Preview the exhibition Monday, October 18 - Thursday, October 21 during normal gallery hours, or visit our Flickr page for images and information on the retablos up for bid at the silent auction.                      

Musical Ofrenda

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
6-7:30 PM
performances begin at 6:30 PM

Join us for an evening of celebration and remembrance. During Día de los Muertos families create ofrendas or altars to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. ROCO and Musiqa will present short original contemporary, classic compositions as musical ofrendas. Inprint will also present original readings written in the tradition of making an offering during the Día de los Muertos celebrations. This event is a partnership between ROCO, Inprint, Musiqa and Lawndale Art Center.

Papel Picado Workshop

Thursday, October 28, 2010
6 PM

Houston art educator and Lawndale supporter, Jean King, will lead a papel picado workshop as part of this year’s Día de los Muertos celebration. The workshop is free and open to the public. Visitors will not only learn about the traditional art of Mexican paper cutting from one of the best, but will also get to create and take home their own unique perforated paper creation.

Sugar Skull Workshop

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Demonstrations at 6 and 6:30PM - FULL

In conjunction with our 23rd annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering a sugar skull making workshop. The workshop is free and open to the public. Registrations is requested as space is limted.To register, please email dnance@lawndaleartcenter.org. Bring a bag of sugar and add it to the mix or just drop in for a quick demonstration. All participants may take home one sugar skull and a printed recipe.

10/20/2010 Update: Both the 6 and 6:30PM demonstrations are full. Click here if you'd like to download the recipe and try making a sugar skull on your own. Molds are avaiable for purchase at Casa Ramirez on 19th St. in the Heights. Join us for the Family Day Fiesta on November 6 to decorate one of the skulls made at the workshop.

Family Day Fiesta

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Admission: Free
Lawndale’s 24th annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Mezzanine Galleries. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as cutting papel picado and decorating sugar skulls, along with performances byby Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Paedarchy Puppets.

This year's exhibition includes work by 20 Houston area schools including:

Bay Area Montessori House, Carver Magnet High School, Cesar E. Chavez High School, Cypress Lakes High School, Davis High School, De Zavala Elementary School, DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, Harmony Science Academy Houston High, Johnston Middle School, Manvel High School, Patrick Henry Middle School, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center, Sam Rayburn High Shool, Sharpstown International School, St. Stephen's Episcopal School, YES Prep Brays Oaks, YES Prep East End, YES Prep North Central and YES Prep Southeast.

Performance Schedule:

Paedarchy Puppets
12:00 PM
A Dance with Catrina Calavera
A Tale of the Mistress of death trying to make herself and the underworld appealing to a disbelieving and crafty mortal.
Members include: Chris Crawford, Ariadne Crow, Rachel George, Robin Woodward and Hank Montegomery .  

Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera vocalist Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo performs songs accompanied by a solo guitarist.

Mixteco Ballet Folklorico
1:30 PM & 3 PM
Children and teens promote the rich and colorful Mexican folklore through dance, music and art. Directors: Jose Sada, & Rosalia Chapa.


Please consider sponsoring Día de los Muertos Funds raised in support of Lawndale's 23rd Annual Día de los Muertos help underwrite the cost of presenting several programs that celebrate cultural traditions of Mexico. These events foster pride and appreciation in one's own heritage and encourages tolerance and understanding. Contributions also fund Lawndale's free programs throughout the year and allows us to continue serving as one of Houston's leading contemporary arts spaces.

To find out more about making a donation to this year's Día de los Muertos, please download our Donor Packet or contact us at 713.528.5858 or by email at askus@lawndaleartcenter.org.


Diana Hudson & Lee Kaplan

Andrew C. Schirrmeister


Anita & David Garten



Gayle & Mike DeGeurin
Janie & Dick DeGuerin

Ann W. Harithas
Scott R. Sparvero


Bill Arning & Mark McCray
Jereann Chaney
Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
the Consulate General of Mexico

Bank of America
Mark & Jenny Johnson
Mary L. Morrison
H. Irving Schweppe Jr., M. D.


Chinhui & Eddie Allen
Kristen & Andy Andreasen
Heather Brown & Hank Segelke
Bevin & Dan Dubrowski
Totsy Boyd Gano
Wayne & Beverly Gilbert
Mr. Glen Hilton &
Dr. Michael Remson

Tim & Pam Jahnke
Jim Jard
Victoria & Marshal Lightman
Dr. Penelope & Mr. Lester Marks
H. Russell Pitman
Joe & Anne Romano
Miri Wilkins


Mina & Dan Graur

Rob Greenstein


Cabo Wabo Tequila
Catering by Culinaire
The Chocolate Bar
El Tiempo Cantina
Phoenicia Specialty Foods

Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Tacos A Go-Go


Dr. Penelope Gonzalez Marks

Miri Wilkins


Michelle Aviña
Elaine Dillard
Mary Guinan
Nicole Haagenson
Ramesh Krishnan

Beatriz Maney
Kristine Mills
Miya Shay
Hector Villarreal
Tina & Josh Zulu

Students and Teachers

There are a variety of ways teachers and students can participate in our events:

  • Your school group’s artwork can be featured in Lawndale’s Mezzanine and Cavnar galleries during the months of October and November.  Please contact Emily Link for more details by calling 713.528.5858 or through email.
  • Introduce your students to the Día de los Muertos tradition by scheduling a tour with the Lawndale staff.
  • Visit our newly updated Day of the Dead Teacher’s Resource Page, originally assembled by Carrie Green Markello and updated by Christopher Hyunh.  This page serves as an excellent resource for students and teachers interested in learning about the history and traditions of this unique holiday.
  • Bring personal items for Lawndale’s community ofrenda.

Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art.

    Join our mailing list!