Opening Reception: Oct 3rd, 5:30 – 7:30pm with an  Artist Talk at 6pm

Mexican born Bay-area artist, Ernesto Hernandez-Olmos, returns to the Sonoma Community Center for the Día de los Muertos season starting with an exhibit of his paintings titled, “The Colors of the Death.”  His visit will include instructing a variety of Day of the Dead themed arts and educational workshops throughout Sonoma in October as part of the Día Sonoma collaboration of Sonoma Community Center, La Luz Center, and the Transcendence Theatre Company.  And he will once again host the Center’s November 2nd Public Altar Lighting Ceremony.

The community is invited to “The Colors of the Death” art exhibit Opening Reception during Sonoma’s Art Walk, Thursday October 3rd from 5:30- 7:30pm.  The exhibition will showcase 2-dimensional paintings depicting the traditions and celebrations of the Mexican holiday and encompassing the best of his 25 years as an artist.  Hernandez-Olmos’ art has been shown at The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and a mural can also be seen at the MacArthur Bart Station in Oakland.  A brief Artist Talk is scheduled for 6pm that evening where Hernandez-Olmos will discuss the cultural references and historical traditions that have influenced his work. Refreshments will be available.

“The Colors of the Death” runs in the Sonoma Community Center’s Gallery 212 from Oct 3 – Nov 2.  The exhibition is free and open to the public to visit between 9am-6pm Monday through Saturday, subject to change.

With financial support from the Sonoma County Vintner’s Foundation, each of Hernandez-Olmos’ Saturday “Día Sonoma” art workshops will be a combination of his experiences in painting, sculpture, and even music.  The month’s worth of family-friendly opportunities includes his Altar Making Workshop October, 5th, as well as his Papel Picado & Paper Flowers October, 12th, and a Clay Ocarinas or ancient woodwind instrument making class on October, 19th.   “Ernesto’s enthusiasm for sharing culture is what’s so captivating,” Creative Programs Manager Eric Jackson states. “And I’m excited to once again see the Mexican Holiday through his eyes.”          

Ernesto Hernandez-Olmos will conclude his run as the Center’s Día de los Muertos artist by bringing historical insight and Meso-American music and folk songs at the Center’s free Public Altar Lighting Ceremony scheduled for Friday, November 2nd from from 5:30-7:30pm.  “For anyone who has missed it, this celebration is truly a feast for the senses,” Jackson continues.  

In following with tradition, the Center’s 12’ altar, designed by local sculptor Jim Callahan, will be decorated in lights, golden butterflies, and portraits of Sonoma Valley’s passed loved ones and lost “heroes.”  The community is invited to participate in the celebration of those who have passed. Anyone who would like to contribute to the altar’s portraits can do so by submitting a scanned photograph, dates of the person’s birth and death, as well as a brief description of the person’s life and/or contributions to the Sonoma Community Center’s main office.  Photographs submitted by the deadline of October 26th will be included in the installation of the altar. 

For more information regarding “The Colors of the Death” exhibit and to register for Día Sonoma Workshops please visit online at sonomacommunitycenter.org, the Main Office at 276 East Napa Street in Sonoma, or by calling the office (707) 938-4626 x1, Monday through Friday 10:00AM-4:00PM.