September 02, 2014

‘Day of the Dead’ exhibit, discussion set

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library will recognize a worldwide tradition with special “Day of the Dead” festivities. 

The library’s Day of the Dead Art Exhibit will run Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 in the first-floor rotunda, and feature the work of about 25 local artisans.  The exhibit is inspired by the annual corn harvest migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico. 

In addition, budding artists from Ruth Hoak’s first-grade class at Century Elementary School in Ullin will display their talents with creations focusing on the importance of planting milkweed, the favorite butterfly food. 

The exhibit is available for viewing during regular library hours. 

The focus of the exhibit, reception and discussion is on the ways people and living things create a sense of place, recover from traumatic experiences and rebuild communities, whether necessitated by loss of habitat, climate change or other disruptions.  

The presentation and reception will be from 2 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, which is the “Day of the Dead.”  The public is welcome to attend. 

Roberto Barrios, associate professor of anthropology at SIU Carbondale, will speak at the presentation.  He studies how people successfully cope with complex, life-changing events.   Photographs Barrios took while on sabbatical last year showing “Day of the Dead” altars in Tocatlan, Mexico, will be part of the exhibit.  

His graduate assistant, Asunción Avendaňo Garcia, a lay expert on “Day of the Dead” who is visiting from the Department of Geography at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, will also speak.  

For more information, visit  or call Beth Martell at 618/453-4097.