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September 06, 2006

Day of the Dead Photography Show Features an Installation Artwork

A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico Sept. 30 – Dec. 31, 2006

Seattle—Coming from The Field Museum in Chicago to the Burke Museum on Sept. 30are 29 color photographs exploding with the rich color and spirit of the traditions of Day of the Dead (Da de Muertos) in rural Oaxaca, Mexico. Celebration of Souls will be anchored by a 6 x 9 ft. installation work of art by artist Isaac Hernandez Ruiz, giving visitors an up-close look at the creativity and symbolism that shape the Mexican tradition.

The Day of the Dead installation created by Isaac Hernandez Ruiz will be augmented by two weeks of in-gallery demonstrations by Hernandez Ruiz as a Burke “Artist-in-Residence.” A Seattle artist and community leader, Hernandez Ruiz is known for his efforts to bring an

authentic face to Seattle’s Day of the Dead celebrations, particularly with his installation work at Seattle Center.

“Art can be a tool for education,” says Hernandez Ruiz, whose work inspires Seattle youth to think about their cultural heritage. His installation at the Burke will give visitors

intimate insight into the artistry and traditions that shape an ofrenda. While in the galleries from

October 2-6 and 9-13, Hernandez Ruiz will give presentations on traditional Mexican art styles. “As an artist, it is important to me to act as a facilitator and show children how you can express yourself through art.”

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The 29 photographs, captured by four documentary photographers depict the dynamic mix of Day of the Dead imagery, with a focus on chocolate, a staple of Oaxaca.Photographers Guillermo Aldana, Scott Vlaun, Howard-Yana Shapiro, and Ricardo Jos Garibay Ruiz, set out to document the trail of chocolate (cacao) in Oaxaca, Mexico, and through their work, became witnesses to the unique ways that rural Oaxacans celebrate the Day of the Dead.

This bilingual exhibit will present text in both English and Spanish. A Celebration of Souls wasdeveloped by The Field Museum, Chicago, in collaboration with Mars, Incorporated.

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