The Merced Multicultural Arts Center (MAC) unveiled numerous colorful alters, paintings and displays last Saturday for the opening reception of the “Lagrimas de Amor” exhibit and the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration.
The local tradition, which started in 1999, brought together dozens of residents who took part in a candlelight procession, enjoyed ballet folklorico dance performances, and learned about the history, traditions and meaning behind Dia de los Muertos.
Dance performances included the UC Merced Ballet Folklorico and Girasol Ballet Folklorico from Atwater High School. A presentation on the Dia de los Muertos tradition was provided by Maria Gloria Jimenez. Additionally, personal altars and artwork from local artists were on display throughout the galleries of the Arts Center. They included the larger-than-life “Loteria” card titled “El Niño.” A second exhibition, “Tres Artistas,” was also formally opened up for viewing during the event. Held on the second floor gallery, the ‘Tres Artistas’ exhibition features the work of local talents: Eddie Rodriguez, Goku Mcafee, and Rafael Barajas.
During the candlelight procession, residents walked down Main Street from the Arts Center to the Merced Theatre where a moment of silence was held.