‘Day of the Dead’ Workshop Teaches Art and Culture

It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to spot a (fake) skull or two around campus  as Halloween creeps right around the corner. But Full Sail staff and faculty recently made their own contributions to the somewhat-spooky atmosphere during a workshop dedicated to Mexican national holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Course Director Grace Kurth recently held a workshop to teach participants about the tradition of the 3,000-year-old Aztec tradition. Celebrated on November 1-2, Day of the Dead honors the souls of the departed with ornate altars and decorated sugar skulls. The souls are “welcomed” in a festive manner to acknowledge all the contributions they made in the lives of their families and friends.

Students and faculty created the tiny sugar skulls, along with masks, wreathes weaved from marigold flowers (representing regeneration), skeleton sculptures, and more. Participants were also encouraged to create their own cardboard shrines to a lost loved one, to color and decorate little plaster calacas (or skulls), and to write tributes to those who influenced their lives. Kurth also brought traditional Mexican cookies, played Aztec music, and brought marigolds for participants to take home.