To Love and Be Loved in Return exhibition celebrates the Day of the Dead at SOMArts

An art installation with papel picado is shown at SOMArts during the opening of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022”. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)

By Karem Rodriguez

krodri27@mail.ccsf.edu

 

SOMArts kicks off the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations with the opening of an exhibition of colorful altars merging with contemporary installations. To Love and Be Loved in Return, marks the 23rd year SOMArts offers a platform for a collective of artists to express their perspectives on remembering, honoring, and celebrating the dead. 

An altar is shown at the SOMArts exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022”. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)

The opening reception on October 7th was a gathering of art, music, and poetry. This year 17 artists were in charge of continuing the legacy of René Yañez, curator and founder of the Dia de Los Muertos at SOMArts. “This year has been a meditation on family,” said Rio Yañez, who together with Anaís Azul were the curators of the show that exemplifies how the love between the living and the dead continues to help us navigate the world.

Altar dedicated to René Yañez, curator and founder of the Dia de Los Muertos at SOMArts. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman).

 

This time, the exhibition was dedicated to Japanese American poet and educator Janice Mirikitani, who served as the San Francisco poet laureate from 2000 to 2022 and was an advocate for the city’s marginalized communities. 

An altar dedicated to Japanese American poet and educator Janice Mirikitani, is shown at SOMArts during the opening of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return”. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)

 

The art installation extends beyond the Mexican “ofrendas”, while some of the pieces include colors and cues seen in the traditional altars, others interpret more broadly the concept of an altar to honor the death of loved ones. One piece of an array of golden toy guns in the shape of angel wings, created by artist Alicia Cruz, presents a tribute to the souls in the tragic Uvalde, Texas school shooting. While another piece by sculptor Lorraine Bonner, presents the grieving of our dying planets through tiny caskets holding various items such as bullets, cellphones, and plastic objects

Curators and artists of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022” at SOMArts during the event opening. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)

 

The opening reception ended with a musical performance by Diana Gameros and Renee Goust.

The art piece, “A Pre-Extinction Ofrenda” by Lorraine Bonner, shows tiny caskets holding various items. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)

The exhibition will be open until November 4 at SOMArts from Thursdays to Sundays.

Supporters of artist Alicia Cruz, pose in front of her art piece, Ximoquetza (Rise Up in Nahuatl), during the opening of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return” at SOMArts. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)
An art installation with papel picado is shown at SOMArts during the opening of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022”. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)
SOMArts opens the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022”. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman).
Diana Gameros and Renee Goust, singers and songwriters, play music during the opening of the exhibition “To Love and Be Loved in Return: Dia de Los Muertos 2022” at SOMArts. San Francisco, October 7, 2022 (Karem Rodriguez / The Guardsman)