Museum of Sonoma County hosts Día de los Muertos sculpture garden event

Museum+of+Sonoma+County+hosts+D%C3%ADa+de+los+Muertos+sculpture+garden+event

Courtesy Museum of Sonoma County

Maritza Camacho, Staff Writer

The Museum of Sonoma County is keeping the magic of Día de los Muertos alive with a free, immersive outdoor art display celebrating loved ones who have died. The exhibit features artwork by Peter Perez, Mario Uribe, Liz Camino-Byers, Scott Daniel Braun and Martín Zúñiga, along with contributions from community participants which include special works made in past years by the Museum’s Youth + Art students.

The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 8, with special hours from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 2. The museum also offers a virtual online exhibit you can experience from the comfort of your own home. 

For those who attend in person, you’ll be greeted by volunteers at an information table full of brochures and COVID-19 protocol reminders.

At the center of the entrance stands a ceramic pot filled with marigolds and surrounded by pictures of the museum’s former exhibition coordinator Cynthia Leung, who died in 2019. It serves as a dedication to her and her passion for the Día de los Muertos exhibition. 

The iconic Ruth Bader Ginsberg is displayed tall and proud in a cube art display with a variety of skulls painted on the sides. In the outdoor exhibit, there are two more of these cubes with blended images of skulls and nature. Each cube portrays a different message; the RBG cube describes 2020 as the “Year of the Woman.” 

On the cube’s opposite side lies an immense mask sculpture, representing the coronavirus pandemic. The front of the mask is decorated with various countries’ flags to represent COVID-19 as a worldwide issue. The back of the mask features lanterns and marigolds; crosses and candles lay at the foot of the sculpture. 

Three altars created by friends of the museum can be found toward the northeast side of the exhibit. One that stood out was an altar dedicated to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the movement ignited by their passing. 

At the far right of the exhibit stands a tall arched door made of colorful feathers. The door represents the door to the underworld. The powerful door is guarded by gathered bones and gifts and surrounded by butterflies and candles that hang from neighboring trees, some decorated with the names of visitors’ loved ones. 

At the far left of the exhibit stands an empty tree sculpture dedicated to the late Andy Lopez. Created by Elsie Allen High School students, this “Peace Tree” has been a contribution to the exhibit since 2013 and continues to be a reminder of inequality and injustice.