For Immediate Release
All Zones
October 26, 2000

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Office of Marketing and Communications
219-980-6685

Day of the Dead Celebrated at IU Northwest

The ancient Mexican Dia de Los Muertos (Dayof the Dead) tradition will be celebrated with art, music, historicalperspectives and refreshments at IndianaUniversity Northwest on November 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. in GalleryNorthwest in TamarackHall.

A presentation, Death, Catharsis, and Renewal: The Mexican Celebrationof the Day of the Dead by Dr. Ana Osan,IU Northwest assistant professor of Spanish, will be one of the highlightsof the evening as she explores with visuals, the origin of the holidayfrom pre-Columbian times through the Mexican traditions of present daycelebrations. Osan, who received her BA in English, Spanish, French fromIU Northwest, and a MA and Ph.D. in Spanishfrom the University of Chicago,garnered the idea for the community-wide Dia de Los Muertos celebration,through her desire for students and community members to take part in theMexican tradition of building altars to celebrate and honor the deceased.Currently on display in Gallery Northwest through Nov. 3, altarsbuilt by high school students, community members and IU Northwest campuscommunity members serves as a reminder of the lives of a deceased lovedones. The altars are constructed by the living for the dead, and can includephotographs and personal items of the deceased, and various symbolic items.

“The development of this exhibit has been a long one,” says Osan, whois also co-curator of the exhibit with gallery director Ann Fritz. “Itevolved out of my fascination with way Mexicans view death - as an extensionof life, and as another level of greater cosmic order which repeats itself.It was also borne out of a wish to recognize three of our faculty and staffmembers who passed away within a few months of each other.”  

During the two-hour Day of the Dead celebration, Mariachi Acero willserenade visitors and “the souls of those ethereal beings who will be presentfor the occasion.” Refreshments will also be served.

Dia de Los Muertos is a part of the IU Northwest’s DiversityProgramming series sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, and is open to the community free of charge. For more information contact Osan at 219-980-6691or at aosan@iun.edu or contact Fritzat 219-980-6891 or afritz@iun.edu

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