Silvya Luna Manquiero’s raices y ramas (my roots and branches) altar from MOLAA's Dia de los Muertos exhibition in 2017. Photos by Asia Morris.
Courtesy Facebook/MOLAA.


When it comes to Día de los Muertos maybe you’re picturing the colorful costumage of the parades or classic sugar skulls celebrating the lives of those who have passed, but you can expect the Museum of Latin American Art’s annual art show to push the envelope of tradition, and always in a fantastically creative way. Over the years, participating artists have interpreted the traditional ofrenda, or altar, into their own original masterpieces using rolls of undeveloped film, paper illustrations, broken boom boxes and shocking amounts of glitter, as just a few examples, to realize what the celebration means to them personally (see Silvya Luna Manquiero’s altar from 2017 above).

This year’s theme is De generación a generación, a juried display of altars and art from artists all over Southern California in MOLAA’s Education Gallery highlighting how previous generations have shaped the artists’ beliefs, habits and customs. There’s Hector Torres’ “Dead Technology,” an altar showing flip phones, cameras, headsets and other technologies of the past and Brianna Mitjans’ “Thread of Generations” using spools of thread and the art of embroidery.

“Día de los Muertos celebrations go beyond accepting death and honoring those who are no longer with us. They provide a moment for us to reflect on the past and acknowledge how it has shaped us into the people or communities we are today,” stated the press material. The show is designed to “encourage audiences to connect with parts of themselves they did not know much about, creating a link between the past and present.”

The soft opening of the exhibition is today, Wednesday, while a public artists’ reception will take place Thursday, Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A free Virtual Altar Project Workshop will be led by Rosalie López on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; a Día de los muertos after-school workshop & Ballet Folklórico performance will be held Friday, Nov. 1 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; concluding with a Día de los muertos Family Festival on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to MOLAA is $10; 628 Alamitos Ave. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursdays until 9 p.m., with free admission every Sunday and the fourth Thursday of every month from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit the website here.

Courtesy Facebook/Knights of the Round Turn Table.

Another great thing: It’s been four decades since The Clash bass player, Paul Simonon, smashed his Fender onto the stage at a show in New York City, the image captured and used for the cover of “London Calling.” Were you there? We think this could be worth talking about, perhaps a little buzzed, after MOLAA closes at 5 p.m., when you should head to Ambitious Ales in Bixby Knolls (4019 Atlantic Ave.) where the monthly listening group, Knights of the Round Turn Table, will be discussing The Clash’s classic, third album from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There’s more info on the Facebook event page here.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Why not just call the thing, Knights of the Turntable? We get it!


Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].