Merced County Times Newspaper
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Arts Center getting ready for Dia de los Muertos celebration

FINAL DAY THIS SUNDAY! Don’t miss ‘Arts Closet To Yours’ at the MAC


It’s “last chance Sunday” on Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — the last day for community members to spot and purchase an art-related treasure for a low price at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center (MAC), located at 645 W. Main Street in Merced.

“From Arts Closet to Yours” had such a great turnout last weekend that it was extended for one more day, giving browsers another opportunity to uncover a prize from a room full of paintings, frames, art supplies, art books, cook books, and interesting decor donated by local artists and art collectors.

Colton Dennis, executive director of the MAC, told the Times, “This is the third time we’ve held this event in the last two years.”

Geri Freer, a new member of the Merced County Arts Council Board of Directors who dabbles in art, especially liked a unique quilt art robin, and she also thought the Found Object art was fun and interesting.

She told the Times, “We have prints, posters, oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, quilt art, needlepoint art, and Found Object art, as well as a quilt handmade by Lori Nelson, an Arbor Gallery artist.”

Cook books sell for fifty cents, and there are books studying famous artists such as Gauguin, with pictures of his work.

Ceramic vases made by artists and stately figurines are among the many artistic objects offered for sale.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a yearly Latin American holiday where the deceased are honored with festivals and lively celebrations, combining indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism.

Dennis told the Times, “Our annual Dia de los Muertos celebration will be held from Oct. 20 to Nov. 14, but it will be a smaller version due to COVID.

“The entire downstairs will be all Day of the Dead art, and will include a mural of El Nino that is 16 feet tall and 8 feet wide.”

The upstairs of the MAC will showcase the artwork of three individuals who are all up and coming young Hispanic artists.

On Oct. 28, Lalo Alcaraz, a political cartoonist who was one of the illustrators of Disney’s “Coco,” will exhibit his work and give a presentation.

On Oct. 29, the audience at the MAC will be treated to the Calaveritas style poetry of local businessman Octavio Valencia, who is a published poet. In the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, short, satirical poems called Calaveritas are often read, which make fun of dying.  There may be other entertainment in the way of folklorico dancing.

The reception in connection with the celebration of Day of the Dead will take place on Oct. 30.

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