Halloween is done for another year, but dont fret. The real skeleton-themed fun happens this weekend with Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration that in Tacoma extends through Sunday, thanks to Tacoma Art Museum.
For the eighth year, the museum hosts a free community celebration of the arts and traditions of the festival that honors the dead, from altars to sugar skulls.
A partnership with Centro Latino and Proyecto MoLÉ, the Dia de los Muertos festival is the museums biggest, attracting more than 3,700 visitors last year. Featuring art by both professionals and ordinary citizens, it connects the art world with the community.
This is a favorite annual event for all of Tacoma that connects us across cultures, said TAM director Stephanie Stebich.
Whats to see? Well, start just inside the doors, where two enormous colorful sand paintings (tapetes) fill the lobby floor with images of flowers and laughing skeletons, delicately placed by artist Fulgencio Lazo and his team. There also will be live music by Tacomas Mariachi Ayutla, Aztec dance from Grupo Quetzalcoatl de Olympia, and free food.
There also are activities under a tent outside on the plaza, and upstairs in the art room, you can decorate sugar skulls or stencil and paint a terracotta pot. On the way along the mezzanine, stop and contemplate the ofrendas, altars made by Tacoma community groups that celebrate and commemorate loved ones who have passed on.
The free festivities are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Call 253-272-4258 or go to tacomaartmuseum.org.
Another free Dia de los Muertos community event will happen at the Portland Avenue Community Center tonight, and will feature altar making, skull making, music and dancing, plus the creation of a 17-foot boat mural for First Night Tacoma 2012 with help from artist Allison Greer Morse. The event runs 6-9 tonight at 3513 Portland Ave., Tacoma. Call 253-305-1000 or go to metroparkstacoma.org.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568