26th Annual Día de los Muertos
October 21 - November 9, 2013

Lawndale Art Center is pleased to present its 26th Annual Día de los Muertos events, a celebration of the art, music and folklife 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 Pick Up Reminder

Thanks for supporting Lawndale and purchasing retablos at our annual gala and silent auction. Retablo pick up will take place in the gallery:

Monday, November 11, 2013
10 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
10 AM - 5 PM

Starting Wednesday, November 13, please come to the 3rd floor office during office hours (10 AM - 5 PM, Monday-Friday) to retrieve your work.

Retablo & Student Exhibitions

October 21 - November 9, 2013

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 fundraising event of the year.

Artists participating in this year's exhibition include:

Simone Adams, Joe C. Aker, Sara Alvarado and D. Grant Carr, Glinda Anderson, Vivian Arcidiacono, Rachel Arellanes, Ron Arena, Marisa Avelar, David Aylsworth, Tod Bailey, Andre C. Bally, Virginia Bally, Alex Barber, Elli Barnwell, Debra Barrera, Malinda Beeman, Betirri Bengston, Daniel Bertalot, Suzi Blair, N. Blanca, Luke Blount, Natasha Bowdoin, Elaine Bradford, Farrah Braniff, Rebecca Braziel, Otis Ike, Cathy Brisky, Susi Brister, Dakota Broadway, Cindy Broadway, Scot Brooks, Christi Bruecher, Jesse A. Burgos, Billy Canipe, Phillip Cano, Jamie M. Cano, Marissa Cardenas, Christina Carfora, Madeline Carr, Lee  Carrier, Brianna Carroll, wacdesignstudio, P. Cerling, Chaz + Lola, Vachu Chilakamarri, Carol Christa, Sheng Kuan Chung, Michael A. Colyer, Felipe Contreras, Annie Cook, Carol Sandin Cooley, Jeff Copeland, Sarah Nelson Crawford, Claire Cusack, Janie DeGuerin, Beth Dewey, Elvira Diaz-Ocampo, Jason Dibley, Caroline and Danielle Docwra, Jane Eifler, Jennifer Ellison, Carlos Entenza, Stephanie Entenza, Daniel Esquivel-Brandt, Vanessa Estrada, Xinlu (Lulu) Fang, Brandi Farley, Keegan Farrell, Loli Fernandez, Julie Fischer, Rosa M. Flores, Marcela Flores, Richard E. Fluhr , Juliana Forero, John Forse, Diane Fraser, S.G. Garcia, Julie Anne Gawel, Abhidnya Ghuge, Scott Gilbert, Erica Gilbert, Gish Creative, James Glassman, Michael Godoy, Joyce F. Gold, Johann Klaus Golditz, Katie Weymouth Gonzalez, Nicholas Gonzalez, Laura E. Gonzalez-Fernandez, Dan Graur, Mollie Graybill, Casey Arguelles Gregory, Tommy Gregory, Maryann Gremillion, Barry Gremillion, John Grisaffi, Mitch Samuels Grystar, Stevie Ray Guajardo, Valerie G., Keith Guehring, Deisy Guevara, M. Hamavet, Jan Arthur Harrell, Sarah Hazel, Jan Johnston and Elaine Hearn, Maury Hecht, Lynette Henry, Rudy Hernandez, Jr., Paula Hernandez-Pilgrim, Nicole Hill, Dallas Hill, Khanh Ho, Eliza, Joe Holton, Johnny Hooks, Robot Ronnie , Alex Irvine, Herman Jacobs, Sandra A. Jacobs, JoAnn Jenkins, Leslie Plaza Johnson, Solomon Kane, Laura Nicole Kante, Allison Kellogg, Bradley Kerl, Hogan Kimbrell, Jean King, Anastasia Kirages, Sharon Kopriva, Diane La Franca, Lauren Langford, Bill Large, Laura Lark, Melinda Laszczynski, Terry Leavitt-Chavez, Harry Leverette, Laura Firmin Levine, Huimiao (Amy) Lin, Liza Littlefield, Chris Lockwood, Loloa + Chaz, Peter Lucas, Leslie Magdaleno, Sal Maida 4, Jason Makepeace, Nina  Makepeace, Gabriela Maldonado, Jennifer Manning, Gabriel Martinez, Miguel Martinez, Melissa Martinez, Elias (Lee) Martinez, The Art Guys, Mark Masterson, Kenneth Mazzu, Mark S. McCray, Mary M. McGee, micheletko, Paul Middendorf, Madison Miranda, John R. Moffitt, Jill R. Moffitt, Norola Morgan, Pen Morrison, Don Moser, Shayne Murphy, Leslie Mutchler, Michel Muylle, L. A. Naut, Olivia Neal, Steve and Sue Neel, Jessica Ninci, Jim Nolan, Angel Oloshove, Mari Omori, Lizbeth Ortiz, Gay Paratore, Aaron Parazette, Vivian Pastor, Emily Peacock, Sarah Peacock, Eric Pearce, A. Pebdani, Donna Perkins, Sergio Pernas, Peggy Jones Pfister, Ronel Pierre, David "Low Brow" Pilgrim, Mark Ponder, Basilios Poulos, Carlos Pozo, Elías Louis Rafaj, Cary Reeder, Alison Reeves, Anne J. Regan, Michael Remson, Patrick Renner, Rosalva Reyes-Hada, Suzanne Richards, Patti Lou Richardson, Trish Robbins, Anne H. Roberts, Andrew Robinson, Jennifer Rodriguez, Nancy Rohr, Nicole Laurent Romano, Carolyn Rose, Samara Rosen, John Runnels, Jose Saenz, Charlie Jean Sartwelle, Kay Sarver, Rose Davila Scharning, Brandi M. Scott, Beth Secor, Brian Neal Sensabaugh, Robyn Sieverding, Chris Skiles, Belinda Smith, Penny Smith, Karen Anne Smith, Xochi Solis, Becky R. Soria, Al Souza, Annie Souza, John Sparagana, Loni Sproles, Christine Stevens and Richard Chrishock, Melanie Stinson, David Stone , John Sturtevant, Daniel Szymanowski, Anne Rita Taylor, Rebekah Tee, Nicole Temple, Marjorie Ng Thai, A.1 & X.2 / Stautberg-Tolberto, Frank X. Tolbert2, Michael Toskovich, Joan Son and Wing Tse, Patrick Turk, Randy Twaddle, Gina Valenzuela, Rachelle Vasquez, Tanja Vaughn, Myke Venable, Monica Vidal, Melissa Walter, Dandee Warhol, Camille Warmington, Dianne K. Webb, Charisse Weston, Richard  Williams, Martin Wnuk, Dave Wood, Scott Woodard, Kory Woods, Sang-Mi Yoo, Michael Young, Bibi Zambrano, Jo Zider, Daniel Zorn, Grace Zuniga

Lawndale encourages teachers to educate their students about important aspects of Mexican culture and their related art practices and offers schools the opportunity to display their work in our Cavnar and Horton galleries. In past years, students have submitted projects such as sugar skulls, papel picado, papier mache skeletons, retablos, altars and other large-scale installations.

Work by Houston area schools will be on view in the Horton and Cavnar Galleries, including:

Bay Area Montessori House, Berry Elementary, Harmony Science Academy Houston High, Jersey Village High School, Johnston Middle School, Katy High School, Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary, Manvel High School, Miller Intermediate, Pasadena Memorial High School, Patrick Henry M.S., Pope John XXIII High School, Presbyterian School, Ridgecrest Elementary, Sam Houston MSTC, Sharpstown International Magnet School, Tenney School, William B. Travis Elementary, YES Prep Brays Oaks, YES Prep Fifth Ward, YES Prep Gulfton and YES Prep Southeast.

Community Ofrenda

October 21 – November 9, 2013

Starting October 21, 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 25, 2013
Artist, Member and Sponsor Preview 6-7 PM
Gala and Silent Auction 7-9 PM
Silent Auction closes at 8:45 PM

Event Chairs
Denise Furlough, John Andell and David Thomas

Dress: Have fun. Anything goes!

Admission: $50 per person
$35 for Lawndale Members
Tickets available at the door.

The festivities begin with a silent auction Friday, October 25. The auction of retablos, created and donated by over 250 Texas artists, feature contemporary interpretations of this traditional, devotional art. Guests will also enjoy Día de los Muertos exhibitions in the Cavnar and Horton galleries which feature the works of Houston school children. DJ set by Night Drive. Complimentary beverages and delicious bites from Tacos A Go-Go, Tanteo Tequila & Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

Preview the exhibition Monday, October 21 - Thursday, October 24 during normal gallery hours. The galleries will be closed Friday, October 25, in preparation for the Gala & Retablo Silent Auction.

After Party at OKRA Charity Bar
Friday, October 25, 9PM–2AM
924 Congress
Houston, Texas 77002

Keep the party going and vote for Lawndale at OKRA Charity Bar!
Lawndale Art Center is one of four charities in the running to receive funding from OKRA Charity Bar! Throughout the month of October you can vote for Lawndale at OKRA Charity Bar. One drink or food purchase equals one vote. If Lawndale receives the most votes in October, then all proceeds from OKRA sales in November will be donated to Lawndale.


Musical & Literary Ofrenda

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
5:30-7:30 PM
Performances begin at 6:00 PM

Join us for an evening of celebration and remembrance. During Día de los Muertos, families create ofrendas to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Musiqa composers 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.

Sugar Skull Workshop

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Demonstrations at 6 and 6:30 PM
Registration required as space is limited FULL - Registration Closed

In conjunction with our 26th Annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering a sugar skull making workshop. During the workshop, participants will be making blank (undecorated) skulls for use during the Family Day Fiesta. If you would like to decorate a sugar skull, please join us on Saturday, November 2, 2013, 12-4 PM.

Click here if you'd like to download the recipe and try making a sugar skull on your own. Molds are available for purchase at Casa Ramirez on 19th St. in the Heights.

Family Day Fiesta

Saturday, November 2, 2013
12-4 PM
Admission: Free

Lawndale’s 26th annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta for families and children honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as cutting papel picado and decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Secret Admirer Puppets.

Family Day Fiesta Performance Schedule:

12 PM
Secret Admirer Puppets

The Hungry Ghost
A ghost wakes a few days late after Dia de los Muertos. He's really hungry but the cemetery has already been cleared of the offerings! Stick around to see what will happen to our ethereally famished friend in a marionette and bunraku filled family friendly puppet show by newly formed Secret Admirer Puppets.
Members include: John Cates, Rebecca Cook and Chris Crawford

12:30 PM
Houston Grand Opera
SIMPLY SINGING SONGS - Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo & José Pecina

HGOco is Houston Grand Opera’s unique initiative which explores making opera relevant to its changing audience.

Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo originated the role of Lupita in the 2010 world premiere of Houston Grand Opera’s Cruzar la Cara de la Luna / To Cross the Face of the Moon and also performed it at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris to open that house’s 2011–12 season and on HGO’s March 2013 tour to San Diego and Lyric Opera of Chicago with a return to HGO. She began her training with the late Alfonso Guerra at Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (M.E.C.A.). She has been a featured performer with ensembles throughout Houston and has performed in Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Vietnam and at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Television credits include the talk show Cristina on Univision. She is a student of tenor Gabriel Gonzalez, an alumnus of the HGO Studio. Among her honors, she was named the Best of Show Vocalist in Ford–Lincoln Mercury’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition in 1999.

José Pecina began learning, performing and teaching Mexican mariachi music from a young age. He is a gifted violinist and singer who also plays guitarrón, vihuela, and guitar. He grew up on both American and Mexican sides of the border, is bilingual, and understands many of the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico. The award-winning mariachi performer works with Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (M.E.C.A.) and teaches music in several Houston schools in HISD as well as in other locations. Last year, he began to study trumpet with Dr. Snyder at San Jacinto College and is currently studying trumpet with Dr. Harris at Texas Southern University. He plays trumpet with the O’Conrad Johnson Jazz Orchestra. His vision is to embrace Mexicans’ intense feelings for their land and people and reflect them through music to promote greater understanding between cultures. He holds a master of music degree from Texas State University and a bachelor’s degree in music from Texas Southern University.

1:30 PM & 3 PM
Mixteco Ballet Folklorico
Children and teens promote the rich and colorful Mexican folklore through dance, music and art. Mixteco Ballet Folklorico is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, preservation and education of Mexican customs, traditions and culture through the art of music and dance. Founded in 1992 by Jose Sada, the goal of this dynamic group of dancers is to provide Houston area youth with cultural activities that are rewarding to them and increase artistic awareness in the community as well. Sada, along with co-director, Rosalia Chapa, emphasize strong mental and physical discipline while adding their unique style of choreography to the traditional folklorico dances. Mixteco is deeply honored to be invited to perform in China this December.

Papel Picado Workshop

Thursday, November 7, 2013
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. 


Sponsor Día de los Muertos. Funds raised in support of Lawndale's 26th Annual Día de los Muertos help underwrite the cost of presenting programs that celebrate cultural traditions of Mexico. These events foster pride and appreciation in one's own heritage and encourage tolerance and understanding. Contributions also fund Lawndale's free programs throughout the year and allow 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, contact us at 713.528.5858 or by email at askus@lawndaleartcenter.org.

Donate now via PayPal!

Many thanks to our Día de los Muertos sponsors!
as of October 22, 2013

Diana Hudson & Lee Kaplan

Janie & Dick DeGuerin
Kathrine G. McGovern

Gayle & Mike DeGeurin
Jen & Steve Dolman
Jackie Gordon
Mary Morrison
Page Southerland Page
Nicole & Joey Romano
H. Irving Schweppe, Jr. M.D.

Stacy & John Andell
James Bell
Gracie & Bob Cavnar
Jereann Chaney
Bevin & Dan Dubrowski
Denise Furlough
Mr. & Mrs. Jason R. Gaines
Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Inc.
Rob Greenstein
Russell Brightwell & Ross Headman
Barbara & Marks Hinton
Betsy Strauch & Lonnie Hoogeboom
Pamela & Tim Jahnke
Frazier King
Victoria & Marshal Lightman
John McAleer
Gundi McCandless
Doreen Stoller & Dan Piette (in honor of Denise Furlough)
Anne & Joe Romano
Katherine & Mark Yzaguirre

Lilly & Thurmon Andress (in honor of Denise Furlough)
Marilyn & Terry Brooks
Beverly & John Frannea

New Leaf Publishing Inc.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Tacos A Go-Go
Tanteo Tequila

Sarah Atwood & Brian Neal Sensabaugh
Ted R. Bowen IV
Divya Brown
Beth Bryant
Kelly & Jay Cliburn
Cassye D. Cook
Jai Daggett
Anne & Jacob De Leon
Claire & David de Roode
Tanya Easter
Jamie & James Easterling
Hannah Holmes & Jed English
Tony Essalih
James Geitz
James Glassman
Alton LaDay & Jonathan Glus
Bethany & Ryan Haley
Ember & Jon Paul Hull
Christina & Alan Knust
Jennifer Lewandowski
Tanzania Lockhart
Preston Luster
Megan Marse
April Powell Martin
John McAleer
Sharon & Errol McLaughlin
Meghan Miller
Karen Osborn
Anne Paternostro
Veta Byrd-Pérez & David Pérez
Nicole & Joey Romano
Maidie Ryan
Kristin Schuster
Megan Sunday
Pamela Ulmer
Christina & Dusty Wilkerson
Blake Willeford
Curtis Willeford
Marketa Wills

Students and Teachers

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

  • Artwork from Houston area school groups will be featured in Lawndale’s Horton and Cavnar galleries during the months of October and November. We are no longer accepting proposals for the 2013 Student Exhibitions. Please contact Emily Link for more details about how to apply to participate in 2014 at elink@lawndaleartcenter.org.
  • Introduce your students to the Día de los Muertos tradition by scheduling a tour with the Lawndale staff.
  • Visit our 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.

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