Day of the Dead exhibit showcases tradition, cultural diversity

The Fall and Winter seasons bring with them many big-name holidays but some others are overshadowed as a result. One that is often neglected in favor of Halloween is Diá de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A new attraction at UA Little Rock seeks to inform and educate regarding this day of cultural significance.

The Fine Arts Building is currently hosting a Day of the Dead exhibit in the Ann Manners and Alex Pappas Gallery. The exhibit was constructed by Particia Quilantan, a representative of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock. It was hand-made over the course of eight days. The exhibit features authentic Day of the Dead sculptures and decorations with placards provided by the UA Little Rock history department that provide context for the holiday’s many aspects.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a large ofrenda, a display of photos and artwork of loved ones who have died to honor their memory. Small offerings including food that the deceased enjoyed are often left on the ofrenda.

According to Quilantan, the goal of this year’s exhibit is to honor the lives of migrants, both in America and all over the world. The faceless portrait at the center of the ofrenda represents the many people who have crossed borders between countries in the past.