27th Annual Día de los Muertos
October 20 – November 8, 2014

Lawndale Art Center presents the 27th Annual Día de los Muertos series of programs. Join us as we celebrate the art, music and folklife of Mexico through an exhibition of artist made retablos, student installations, workshops and performances. Día de los Muertos programs educate audiences and encourage dialogue about the rich Mexican-American heritage in our region, as well as promote cultural awareness of this celebration of family, life and community.

Retablo Pick Up Reminder

Thanks for supporting Lawndale and purchasing retablos at our annual gala and silent auction. Retablo pick up will take place in the gallery:

Monday, November 10, 2014
10 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
10 AM - 5 PM

Starting Wednesday, November 12, please come to the 3rd floor office during office hours (10 AM - 5 PM, Monday-Friday) to retrieve your work.

Retablo and Student Exhibitions

October 20 – November 8, 2014

In 1988, Lawndale Art Center presented its first annual Día de los Muertos exhibition of retablos: small art works inspired by the traditional Latin American devotional art form of the same name. Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on 8” x 10” pieces of sheet metal. The donated retablos are on view throughout Lawndale’s Día de los Muertos programs and are auctioned at the Gala and Retablo Silent Auction. Proceeds from this popular fundraising event support Lawndale’s free programming throughout the year.

Artists donating to this year's exhibition include:

Joe C. Aker, Ed Alba, Cyndy Allard, Sara Alvarado, Glinda Anderson, Vivian Arcidiacono, Andre Bally, Virginia Bally, Rodolfo Banuelos, Roy Barnes, Rebecca Bass, Mark Benham, Josh Bernstein, Daniel Bertalot, Krista Birnbaum, Mack Bishop III, N. Blanca, Soraya Bodorff, Natasha Bowdoin, Elaine Bradford, Daniel Esquivel Brandt, Cathy Brisky, Cindy Broadway, Marilyn Brooks, Scot Brooks, Betty-Ann Brose, Christi Bruecher, Marissa Cardenas, Nubia Cariño, D. Grant Carr, Madeline Carr, Lee Carrier, Almendra Castillo, Penny Cerling, Chris Champion, JooYoung Choi, R.G. Clark, Michael Colyer, Jeff Copeland, Sarah Nelson Crawford, Beth Dewey, Elvira Diaz-Ocampo, Lina Dib, Jason Dibley, Megan Dickey, Eric A. Dieckman, Luisa Duarte, Alicia Duplan, Trey Duvall, Leslie L. Eaton, Jane Eifler, Karen Eisele, Tatiana Escallon, Amy C. Evans, Laura Feld, Loli Fernández, Julie Fischer, Lori B. Fish, Marcela Flores, Martha A. Flores, Sean Flournoy, Richard Fluhr, Mary Forbes, Juliana Forero, Jed Foronda, Diane Fraser, Didi Garza, JulieAnne Gawel, Erica Gilbert, Scott Gilbert, Sarah Gish, James Glassman, Matthew Glover, Cinthia Gomez, L.E. Gonzáles-Cortés, Tommy Gregory, Maryann Gremillion, Rhys and Cindy Griffin, Rachel Marie Morey Groat, Keith Guehring, Hector Guerra, Lauren Guerra, Bret Harmeyer, Rachel Harmeyer, Jan Arthur Harrell, Shannon Harrison, Sarah Hazel, Michael Henderson, Rudy Hernandez Jr., Nicole Hill, Khanh Ho, Linda Hofheinz, Ren Mitchell and Soni Holladay, Joe Holton, Cynthia Hoyt, Herman Jacobs, Sandra A. Jacobs, JoAnn Jenkins, Leslie Plaza Johnson, Jesse A. Kantu, Todd Kaufman, Cathie Kayser, Allison Kellogg, Clark Kellogg, Kathy Kennedy, Bradley Kerl, John Kidd, Hogan Kimbrell, Jean King, Anastasia Kirages, Carey Kirkpatrick, Sharon Kopriva, Jessica Kreutter, Jessica Lamb, Bill Large and Connie Fleming, Melinsa Laszczynski, Joan Laughlin, Terry Leavitt-Chavez, Marie Leterme, Marilyn Lewis, John Linden, Kevin Link, Charmaine Locke, Vincent Lopez, Renata Lucia, Yma Luis, A. Pebdani, Leslie Magdaleno, Jordan and Patrick Mahoney, Jason Makespeace, Nina Makepeace, Gabriela Maldonado, Judy Malone-Stein, Anin Kciniram, Allyn Martinez, Elias Martinez, Judy Masliyah, Mark Masterson, Marilyn Mathison, Colleen Maynard, Ken Mazzu, David McClain, Mary M. McGee, Kerry Middaugh, Paul Middendorf, William H. Miller, Laurie Mills, Susannah Mira, Drew Miranda, Madison Miranda, Jill R. Moffitt, John Moffitt, Cindy Montgomery, Lorena Morales, Becky Morris, Pen Morrison, Don Moser, Michel Muylle, LA Naut, Steve & Sara Neel, Kia Neill, Jessica Ninci, Richard Nix, Carlos Ocando, David Olivares, Mari Omori, Lee Alice H. Pablo, Nadia Palhelo, Bernice Peacock, Eric Pearce, Robert Peña, Jr., Isamar Perez, Donna E. Perkins, Sergio Pernas, Paul Peters, Sara Peters, Mandy Peyrani, Peggy Jones Pfister, Brian Piana, David Politzer, Basilios Poulos, Carlos Pozo, Georgia Redonet, Cary Reeder, Michael Remson, Kim Clark Rentería, Rosalva Reyes-Hada, Brent Richardson, M. Hamavet, Anne H. Roberts, Andrew Robinson, Andrew Rolston, Robot Ronnie, Carolyn Rose, Stephen Ruiz, Mitch Samuels-Grystar, Elba Gabriela Santana, Charlie Jean Sartwelle, Kay Sarver, Rose Scharning, Beth Secor, Amanda Shackleford, Luke Ikard and Kailey Shea, Bonnie Sheeren, Leslie Shershow, Robyn Sieverding, Christine Mariní Sigman, Michael Simmonds, M.V. Ohren, Carole F. Smith, Karen Anne Smith, Trudi Smith, Graciela Socorro, Al Souza, Annie Souza, John Sparagana, Loni Sproles, Ann Stautberg, Brady Steward, Jamie Stults, James Surls, Daniel Szymanowski, Rebekah Tee, Marjorie Ng Thai, The Art Guys, Britt Thomas, Frank X. Tolbert2, Michael Toskovich, Wing Tse, Patrick Turk, Randy Twaddle, Helena Gijsbers van Wijk, Rachelle Vasquez, Tanja Vaughn, Myke Venable, Monica Vidal, Regina Vigil, Tina Villarreal, Taylor Waldt, Camille Warmington, Dianne K. Webb, Mary Wemple, Scott Woodard and Kory Woods

Lawndale encourages teachers to educate their students about important aspects of Mexican culture and their related art practices and offers schools the opportunity to display their work in our Cavnar and Horton galleries.  In past years, students have submitted projects such as sugar skulls, papel picado, papier-mâché skeletons, retablos, altars and other large-scale installations. 

Work by Houston area schools will be on view in the Horton and Cavnar Galleries, including:

Alvin High School, Bay Area Montessori House, Carver Magnet High School, Cypress Lakes High School, The Emery/Weiner School, Hamilton Middle School, Katy High School, Keller Middle School, Magnolia High School, Manvel High School, Marshall Middle School, Pasadena Memorial High School, Patrick Henry Middle School, Project Chrysalis Middle School, Ridgecrest Elementary, Sharpstown International Magnet School, Sheldon Early Childhood Academy, St. John XXIII College Preparatory, St. Stephens Episcopal School, The Tenney School, Westbury High School, YES Prep Brays Oaks, YES Prep Fifth Ward, YES Prep Gulfton and YES Prep Southeast

Click here to download the Día de los Muertos catalog.

Community Ofrenda

October 20 – November 8, 2014

Starting October 20, guests are encouraged to bring a personal item of remembrance to add to our community altar honoring departed loved ones.


Papel Picado Workshop

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
6 PM

Houston art educator and Lawndale supporter Jean King, will lead a papel picado workshop as part of this year’s Día de los Muertos celebration.  The workshop is free and open to the public.  Visitors will not only learn about the traditional art of Mexican paper cutting from one of the best, but will also get to create and take home their own unique perforated paper creation. 

Gala and Retablo Silent Auction

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Artist, Member and Sponsor Preview 6 – 7 PM
Gala and Silent Auction 7 – 9 PM
Silent Auction closes at 8:45 PM

Event Chairs
Lane and Bob Schultz

Dress: Have fun. Anything goes!

Admission: $65 per person
$40 for Lawndale Members
Advanced ticket sales are now closed. Tickets will be available at the door, including member
rate tickets.

One of Lawndale's most popular parties and biggest fundraisers, this silent auction of small art works, created and donated by over 250 Texas artists, feature contemporary interpretations of retablos, a traditional, devotional art in Mexico. Guests will also enjoy exhibitions in the Cavnar and Horton galleries featuring works made by Houston school children, many in the folkart traditions still practiced in Mexico today. Music by Flash Gordon Parks, with complimentary beverages and delicious bites from Alteño 100% Pure Agave, Saint Arnold Brewing Company & Tacos A Go-Go.

Preview the exhibition Monday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 22 during normal gallery hours. The galleries will be closed Thursday, October 23, in preparation for the Gala & Retablo Silent Auction.

We will be accepting early bids on all retablos. If you are unable to attend the night's festivities, you may fill out a pre-bid form and either mail, fax or email it to Lawndale. Retablos will be available for preview in the gallery from Monday, Oct. 20 – Wednesday, Oct. 22, 10 AM – 5 PM, and online via Lawndale's Flickr page. The highest pre-bid becomes the starting bid of the retablo the night of the auction. Pre-bids will only be accepted through completing this form in advance of the auction by Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 12 PM.


Musical and Literary Ofrenda

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Performances begin at 6 PM

Join us for an evening of celebration and remembrance. During Día de los Muertos, families create ofrendas to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Musiqa composers will present short original contemporary, classic compositions as musical ofrendas. Inprint will also present original readings written in the tradition of making an offering during the Día de los Muertos celebrations. This event is a partnership between ROCO, Inprint, Musiqa and Lawndale.

ROCO is a professional chamber orchestra of 40 select musicians, distinguished guest conductors and dynamic composers who come together from all over the world to present engaging performances of classical and original compositions. Founded in 2005 by oboist, Alecia Lawyer, ROCO has been called the most fun you can have with serious music.

Led by four composers, Musiqa's mission is to enrich and inspire the community through programs that integrate contemporary music with other modern art-forms. With its innovative collaborations and educational programming, Musiqa strives to make modern repertoire accessible and vital to audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds.

By fostering the art of creative writing, the mission of Inprint is to inspire readers and writers in Houston.A nonprofit organization founded in 1983, Inprint fulfills this mission through the nationally renowned Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, the Cool Brains! Reading Series for Young People, through literary and educational activities in the community that demonstrate the value and impact of creative writing, and through support for the UH Creative Writing Program. Today Inprint programs and events provide something for everyone and play a vital role in Houston's rich and diverse cultural life.

Family Day Fiesta

Saturday, November 1, 2014
12 – 4 PM
Admission: Free

Lawndale's 27th annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta for families and children honoring participating teachers and students whose artwork can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Secret Admirer Puppets. Food trucks Moon Rooster and Yeti Sunshine will be on site.

Family Day Fiesta Performance Schedule:

12 PM
Secret Admirer Puppets

Día de los Aztecs

In Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead, all of the contemporary ghosts are getting ready to go up and visit their relatives. Seeing this, two Aztec ghosts feel a little left out and decide to tag along.

Members include: John Cates, Rebecca Cook and Chris Crawford

12:30 PM
Houston Grand Opera
SIMPLY SINGING SONGS - Vanessa Alonzo & Saul Avalos

HGOco is Houston Grand Opera’s unique initiative which explores making opera relevant to its changing audience.

Vanessa Alonzo made her opera debut as Lupita in the concert premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) at Houston Grand Opera in 2010; A role she reprised in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet and the 2013 tri-city tour to San Diego, Houston, and Chicago. She began her training with the late Alfonso Guerra at Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA). Ms. Alonzo recently received the International Leadership Award from the Texas Women's Empowerment Foundation. In 1999 Vanessa was named the "Best of Show Vocalist" in Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition. Her notable credits include tours to Ireland, Mexico, Norway and Vietnam. In 2002, Vanessa performed for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Television credits include Cristina on Univision as a participant in the Festival de Rancheras and a Finalist on Estrella TV's Tengo Talento Mucho Talento in 2011.

Saul Avalos was born in Ciudad Victoria Tamaulipas and began his artistic career at the age of six. Mr. Avalos plays various instruments, such as the jarana, the quinta huapanguera, and the violin, all of which he learned to play from his father while working with him during the first years he spent interpreting huasteca music. At the age of 13, he entered the Tuna [university student organization] of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas where he had the opportunity to participate in the International Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico, and the October Fiestas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in addition to traveling through various parts of Mexico and the United States representing the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas. At the age of 15 he began his studies in the Music Department of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas. He was musical director of Mariachi Meca, and was in charge of musical direction at the Todos Los Santos Catholic Church, which sent him on tour to La Verna, Italy. In February of this year he had a special appearance accompanying Mariachi Los Gallitos of Houston, Texas, making Latin fusion with Texas Medical Center Orchestra of Houston. He previously directed Mariachi Victoria, which has accompanied various international artists such as Marco Antonio Solis, Joan Sebastian, and Maribel Guardia, as well as local artists of Houston, Texas. Saul Avalos made his debut with Houston Grand Opera, Houston’s Teatro Bilingüe, and subsequently, the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris, France, in the character of “Chucho” in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. Later in the 2013 2014 Tours of 'Cruzar' he made his debut at the San Diego Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Arizona Opera.

1:30 PM & 3 PM
Mixteco Ballet Folklorico
Children and teens promote the rich and colorful Mexican folklore through dance, music and art. Mixteco Ballet Folklorico is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, preservation and education of Mexican customs, traditions and culture through the art of music and dance. Founded in 1992 by Jose Sada, the goal of this dynamic group of dancers is to provide Houston area youth with cultural activities that are rewarding to them and increase artistic awareness in the community as well. Sada, along with co-director, Rosalia Chapa, emphasize strong mental and physical discipline while adding their unique style of choreography to the traditional folklorico dances. Mixteco is deeply honored to be invited to perform in China this December.

Adult Sugar Skull Class

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
6 PM
$25 per person
Workshop is currently SOLD OUT. Please call Lawndale at 713-528-5858 if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

In conjunction with our 27th annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering an Adult Sugar Skull Class led by artist Amber Eagle. Participants will learn how sugar skulls are made, and will decorate skulls with royal icing. All participants will take home their skull created in class, as well as a recipe and a sugar skull mold.

Amber Eagle is a former Lawndale Artist Studio Program participant, sculptor of sugar things in miniature and metal things made of semi-trucks. Eagle received her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts (1993) and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1988). Eagle was a Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art from 1993-1995. After completing her core fellowship in Houston she moved to Mexico for many years after having received a grant to study the art of Alfenique and Fiestas there.


Sponsor Día de los Muertos. Funds raised in support of Lawndale's 27th Annual Día de los Muertos help underwrite the cost of presenting programs that celebrate cultural traditions of Mexico. These events foster pride and appreciation in one's own heritage and encourage tolerance and understanding. Contributions also fund Lawndale's free programs throughout the year and allow us to continue serving as one of Houston's leading contemporary arts spaces.

To find out more about making a donation to this year's Día de los Muertos, please download our Donor Packet or contact us at 713.528.5858 or by email at askus@lawndaleartcenter.org.


Many thanks to our Día de los Muertos sponsors!
as of October 15, 2014

Kathrine G. McGovern
Nightingale Code Foundation
Nancy & Sidney Williams

Jo Anne & David Graham
Patty & Jim Jard
Diana M. Hudson & Lee L. Kaplan
Mary Morrison
Lane & Bob Schultz

Beth Abramson
Art Supply on Main
Jereann Chaney
Consulate General of Mexico in Houston
Janie & Dick DeGuerin
Denise Furlough & Jackie Gordon
Tracy & Glen Larner (IHO Lane & Bob Schultz)
Jeryn & Walter Mayer
H. Russell Pitman
H. Irving Schweppe, Jr. MD

Minnette & Peter Boesel
Beverly Braden
David Young & Brenda Fraley
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Gaines
Rob Greenstein
G.G. Hsieh & Mark Hausknecht, MD
Barbara & Marks Hinton
Laurel & Sean Horigan
Pam & Tim Jahnke
Frazier King
Carey Kirkpatrick
Laborde Dermatology, P.A.
Victoria & Marshal Lightman
Don Mafrige, Jr.
Alan Morlan
Deb Perl
Jill Whitten & Rob Proctor
Cherie Ray
Nicole & Joey Romano
Brenda & Steven Schultz
Lonnie Hoogeboom & Betsy Strauch
Ruth Ann & Stephen Streiff
Kristin & David Thomas
Jackie & Bass Wallace
Camille Warmington
Brenda E. Williams

Meghan Miller
Katharine & Richard Rider
Anne & Joe Romano
SBS Manufacturing, Inc.


Alteño 100% Blue Agave Blanco Tequila
Continental Club
Eric Pearce
Goody Goody
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Sig's Lagoon
Tacos A Go-Go

Beth Abramson
Val Perkins & Carole Dickinson
Pete Gordon
Sharon & Chas Haynes
Gardner Landry
Tracy & Glen Larner
Cindy & Andy Lubetkin
Carlton & Angela Perry
Andrew Rice
Valerie & Lance Rosmarin
Brooke & Whitten Stuckey
Megan & Jason Williams


Students and Teachers

There are a variety of ways teachers and students can participate in our events:

  • Artwork from Houston area school groups will be featured in Lawndale’s Horton and Cavnar galleries during the months of October and November. We are no longer accepting proposals for the 2014 Student Exhibitions. Please contact Emily Link for more details about how to apply to participate in 2015 at elink@lawndaleartcenter.org.
  • Introduce your students to the Día de los Muertos tradition by scheduling a tour with the Lawndale staff.
  • Visit our Day of the Dead Teacher’s Resource Page, originally assembled by Carrie Green Markello and updated by Christopher Hyunh. This page serves as an excellent resource for students and teachers interested in learning about the history and traditions of this unique holiday.
  • Bring personal items for Lawndale’s community ofrenda.

Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art.

    Join our mailing list!