Día de los Muertos at 13FOREST

 Above: Dimel Rivas, detail of preparatory illustration for her  Día de los Muertos  installation.

Above: Dimel Rivas, detail of preparatory illustration for her Día de los Muertos installation.

Join us on Sunday, October 30, from 4-6 pm as we take part in Capitol Square's annual Day of the Dead festivities. Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexicoand beyondin which participants honor departed loved ones through a number of lively, colorful and festive traditions. Capital Square brings Day of the Dead to East Arlington with the hope of sharing the customs of this holiday with a broader audience.

To mark the occasion, 13FOREST Gallery has partnered with Boston artist Dimel Rivas to present an installation that captures the richness of Día de los Muertos. In her installation, Rivas chooses to focus on the theme of reunion, an integral aspect of this holiday. Her installation portrays a joyous moment of reunion between multiple generations at a decorated gravesitethe occult convergence of family members, both living and dead. By depicting traditional offerings of marigolds, flowers, music and photographs, Rivas emphasizes the many ways in which the departed are remembered and celebrated during Día de los Muertos. 

Also featured in 13FOREST's celebration of Día de los Muertos is work by Alexa Gustafson, a current senior studying illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Gustafson's lithograph, Cempasúchil, references the marigolds often laid out to lure out the souls of the dead during the holiday.  Both artists will be present to discuss their works during Sunday's events.

 Alexa Gustafson,  C  empasúchil (A/P) , lithograph, ink, gold and copper foil on paper

Alexa Gustafson, Cempasúchil (A/P), lithograph, ink, gold and copper foil on paper

About the artists

Alexa Gustafson is a senior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she studies illustration and is completing her thesis on the theme of mortality. "When I am not illustrating, I love printmaking in both relief and lithography. I enjoy working in ink, gouache, charcoal, graphite, and now recently acrylic. Printmaking, strong light sources, contrast, fantasy, and the whimsical inspire me."

Dimel Rivas is a Dominican, 3D illustrator based in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she became more familiar with unconventional ways of storytelling and of creating space. She hopes to develop her artwork further by diving into the world of animation in the future. Rivas describes her artistic practice as one based in narrative—the slow and careful unraveling of an individual's own story. "To begin I practice listening, deeply, to the unrealized potential in a person. I create clay sculptures and illustrate a person's dreams—their stories. Thus, showing more of the rich texture of a person's life by moving beyond the surface presentation of self. For me, storytelling is most successful when it allows us to see and reflect the richness of each individual life."