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Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind, beginning Thursday, October 6. 

The exhibition, which will run through Sunday, November 27, will include altars, drawings, assemblage, fiber art, paintings, mixed media art, photographs, textiles, illustrations, participatory art, and sculptures, along with a community windchime installation inspired by the title of the exhibition. 

Originating in Mexico, Día de Los Muertos is a holiday dedicated to the dead and is widely celebrated two days out of the year throughout Mexico, Latin America, and parts of the United States. The origin of the holiday dates to pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, now Mexico and Central America. The Mexica (Aztec) saw death as a fundamental part of life and believed when a person passed away, their soul traveled through nine levels of the underworld to reach the land of the dead. Once they arrived, they were greeted and watched over by the Lady of the Dead (Mictecacihuatl) and the King of the Underworld (Mictlantecui). The fusion of pre-Hispanic beliefs and the introduction of the Catholic religion from European colonization resulted in the traditions we know today. 

This year’s exhibition at the Ontario Museum of History & Art will focus on the Cempasúchil, also known as the marigold flower, and how it relates to the traditions of the holiday. It is said that the souls of the dead can reunite with their loved ones twice a year. The ofrendas or altars are filled with offerings such as candles, flowers and food that guide the soul from the land of the dead to the living. Items such as the Cempasúchil were believed to illuminate the night during their journey, so the spirits do not become lost. The Cempasúchil calls to the afterlife much like the sound of a musical instrument draws people in with its notes. 

The community is invited to participate in the festivities at a community reception on Saturday, October 8, from noon to 3 p.m. The Museum’s programs are held on-site and are free to the public. For more information, visit or call (909) 395-2510. 

Participating Artists: 

Ellona Allen, Saul Aguilera, Allyson Allen, Hilda Ambriz, Bill Anderson, James Armendariz, Larry Brownstein, Lisa Cabrera, Frank Carrillo, A.G. Castañeda, Elizabeth Covington, Jessica Cruz, Deserai Davis, Amaya Diaz, Elias Escobar, George Evans, David Flores, Debbie Fuentes, Angela Gallardo, Camila Gallardo, Bebop Garcia, Sandy Garcia, Raymond Gonzales-Sloan, Mario Gutierrez, Natassja Herrera, Arhyen Ibanez, Robert Jacka, Julie Larmi, Alex Ledante, Samantha Lujano, Heriberto Luna, Nancy Morales-Garcia, Irene Nuñez, MaryLucille Nuñez-Delira, Riea Owens, David Palacios, Theresa Polley-Shellcroft, Francisco Ramirez, Rancho Cucamonga High School – Spanish National Honor Society, Kathleen Reeves, Yolanda Reyes, David Rosales, Lisabella Russo, Elide Sañchez, Amy Smith, Mario Solorzano, Monica Thaller, Linda Ternoir, Athena Villanueva, Christiana Villanueva, Jerry Weems, Christopher Wesley, Andrea Willow, and Patricia Jessup-Woodlin. 

About the Ontario Museum of History & Art 

The Ontario Museum of History & Art is located at 225 S. Euclid Avenue, Ontario, California 91762. Gallery hours are Thursday, Noon to 8 PM, and Friday through Sunday Noon to 4 PM. Admission is free. For more information call (909) 395-2510, email at [email protected], or visit The Ontario Museum of History & Art is a public-private museum operated by the City of Ontario with support from the non-profit Ontario Museum of History & Art, Associates.