Day of the Dead festivities planned at Notre Dame

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Day of the Dead

Internationally known artist Artemio Rodriguez will join musical and dance groups to bring Mexican traditions to life at the University of Notre Dame during its annual festivities celebrating the Day of the Dead.

A spirited, rather than mournful holiday, the observance honors and celebrates those who have gone before. The Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) festivities will be held on Nov. 1 (Monday) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center Great Hall on the Notre Dame campus. The celebration is free and open to the public.

Rodriguez has been commissioned to create this year’s ofrenda—the traditional home altar displaying portraits, favorite foods and special possessions of loved ones who have passed away. The candles and marigolds that decorate the ofrenda are said to attract the souls of the dead, drawing them back for a short time to take part in the pleasures they once enjoyed in life.

Installation of the ofrenda will begin Oct. 25 (Monday) and it will be available for viewing through Nov. 2. Rodriguez will discuss his work at 6 and 7 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Also during the Nov. 1 event, a 6:30 p.m. discussion and musical performance will feature anthropologist and musician Alex E. Chávez, a Notre Dame visiting faculty member, and special guest Juan Rivera of the Chicago group Sones de México. Mariachi ND and Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro will perform at various times throughout the evening.

Born in Michoacan, Mexico, in 1972, Rodriguez is a master printmaker known for his simplicity and clarity of style. In 2002 he founded La Mano Press, an artist-run center in Los Angeles dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of printmaking. Rodriguez’s work has been featured in galleries in the United States and Mexico.

The festivities are sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies with the Snite Museum of Art and Multicultural Student Programs and Services.

For more information, visit or call 574-631-3796.