SUU Celebrates Mexican Culture
With Traditional Altars and Interactive Dance
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: SUU's Latinos in Action Club in partnership with SUU Faculty, Artisans Art Gallery, The Pastry Pub, and Groovacious are please to present a varied and traditional celebration of El Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead) and All-Saints Day. These events correspond with the SUU Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery’s exhibit Jim Jones: The San Blas Years (Sep 12–Nov 9, 2013).
From October 28–November 2, colorful, commemorative Mexican altars which honor the memory of the departed family members of the Latinos in Action Club will be displayed on the SUU campus, as well as at local businesses Artisans Art Gallery (94 W Center St), The Pastry Pub (86 W Center St), and Groovacious (173 N 100 W).
On November 1, Paul Ocampo, Associate Professor of Dance at SUU, along with Dance and Art students will perform an interdisciplinary and interactive dance performance in honor of the Catholic tradition of All-Saints Day entitled "Espiritu Santo." This performance investigates the iconography of the heart and human facial features will last roughly one hour and will be staged in the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery beginning at 6:30pm.
Both events are free and the public is encouraged to attend.
The displayed altars (Altars de muertos) have been artfully constructed by members of SUU’s Latinos in Action Club and are a traditional way of honoring one's ancestors. Altars typically have items that represent the ancestor's favorite activities, foods, and memories. These altars will incorporate colorful sugar skulls and flowers specifically selected and created to honor a departed loved one. The Latinos in Action Club "hopes that these displays and events can bring Latino cultural awareness on our campus and in our community."
The Espiritu Santo interactive dance performance’s theme involves how humans emotionally relate to one another through the senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. It takes a fresh look at human corporeality (nature of the human body), questioning why the body is constructed as it is; what if eyes were on elbows and the heart was on a knee; how do we use our senses to form opinions and judgments of others? Audience members will interact by writing words or phrases (pencils and small cards will be distributed) that they want to release or offer as prayers and blessings, which will be symbolically burned at the end of the performance. This event is coordinated by Paul Ocampo, Associate Professor of Dance, and Deborah Snider, Assistant Professor of Art Education, in the College of Performing and Visual Arts at Southern Utah University.
About Jim Jones: The San Blas Years exhibit: In the early 1960s, a fledging artist from Utah traveled to the small Mexican village of San Blas. While living there, he decided to capture its people and community on canvas. The results can be viewed in this remarkable exhibit at SUU’s Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery which runs until November 9, 2013. The Gallery is open Tuesday–Saturday, noon–7:00pm; admission is free.
Jim Jones: The San Blas Years Associated Events & Workshops: In association with the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery’s celebration and exhibit of renowned landscape artist Jim Jones, Jim Jones: The San Blas Years (September 12–November 9), SUU is hosting other unique events and workshops which center on Jones’ time in Mexico and honor the culture and people that inspired the artist during this pivotal period of his career. All of these events are free and open to the public, and many present a special opportunity to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15). To get involved in these exciting events, or for more information, please visit: http://www.suu.edu/pva/