Dia de los Muertos: A Juried Exhibit

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DateOctober 1, 2021 - October 30, 2021

Location 10091 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919 United States

PriceAdmission to the gallery is free, but a $5 suggested donation keeps programming affordable and accessible


Event details

In many parts of Mexico, South America and the United States, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time to remember and celebrate the lives of friends and family. More about reveling life than mourning death, this unique day encourages us to connect with loved ones while reflecting on the ties that bind the past to present. This exhibition features works that showcase the vitality of the community, cultural significance, and symbols surrounding the Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Traditionally, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, the first day primarily recognizing children who have passed, and the second honoring the adults. Each day is a celebration filled with food, music, dancing, and coming together to honor the deceased whose spirits come to visit their families. Families decorate alters, or ofrendas, with candles, photographs, toys, food, and bright colors to honor their loved ones and lead their visiting spirits home.

The calaverita de azucar, or sugar skull, is a prominent symbol in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. These brightly decorated sugar skulls are placed in the alters of the deceased, especially children, as a whimsical reminder of precious life. The monarch butterfly is also commonly associated with Dia de los Muertos as they are thought to bring with them the spirits of deceased loved ones during their migration to Mexico. Another common symbol includes the use of cempasuchil, a brightly colored Mexican marigold, whose smell is believed to attract spirits to visit their families during Dia de los Muertos.

The family and the community play integral roles in this cultural celebration, so the congregation of local art to honor the deceased maintains the power of community in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. Each artist explores their own interpretation of this rich holiday, and bring to light not only the honor associated with death in Mexican culture, but also remind us of the vivacity and significance of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.


Artists are essential to our economy, recovery and everyday lives. To help alleviate financial stress caused by the pandemic, the Alliance for the Arts is waiving all submission entry fees for member artists to submit to our Dia de los Muertos exhibit in October 2021. You may submit one, two or three artworks.

For non-members, the cost is $25 for 1 entry or $45 to submit 2 or 3 entries. Entries are non-refundable. You may become a member to receive the member waiver. Alliance for the Arts memberships are $55 and are good for one year.

Awards: $250 for Best in Show, $125 for 2nd Place and $75 for 3rd Place


Exhibits: October 1 – 30, 2021
Deadline for submission: Monday, September 20
Notification of acceptance: Wednesday, September 22
Artwork receiving: Monday, September 27 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Opening reception: Friday, October 1 from 5-7 p.m. See it first. See it free. This event is open to the public. Come meet your neighbors at this free event! Awards at 6 p.m.

Congratulations to our award winners: 1st Place: Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca, Christa Joyner Moody 2nd Place: Life After Death, Christian de Jesus 3rd Place: Dance of Life, Susi Wingenroth

Congratulations to our exhibiting artists: Adrienne DeSalvo, AJ Dove, Alexandra Wilkinson, Amanda Zirzow, Angélica Collins, Brett Dalziel, Cheryl Kinderknecht, Christa Joyner Moody, Christian De Jesus, Cynthia Cowles, Dale Smith, Dan Abrahamsson, Darling Salazar, Della Boynton, Denise Llerena, Diane Chernow, Esmê Mendoza, Gilberto Sanchez, Ginny Dickinson, Holly Zammerilla, Jennifer Gesenhues, Joan Brechin Sonnenberg, Jose Pardo, Juliette Ibelli, Katherine Boren, Kim Piercy, Krista Johnson, Lawrence Phillips, Leo Johnson, Lorraine Weiss, Lynne Renzenberger, Madeline Sugerman, Maria Collier, Maria Sanchez, Miguel Gallardo, Mike Murphy, Mike Vancleve, Mully Mulhern, Nalin Isme, Nance Marsden, Nayeli Rodriguez, Pamela Jones, Patricia Hallman, Robert Allen, Robin Duym, Samantha Severson, Susan Fraley, Susi Wingenroth, Tania Alves, Tara Chadwick, Tonya Barnes, Tyler Henatay

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. during our weekly farmer’s market.

Admission to our galleries is free all day, every day. Help keep it that way! Your membership or donation enables us to present amazing exhibitions and engaging programs that make the Alliance an artistic, creative treasure.

Please note: If you are joining us for onsite programming, we ask that you adhere to signage and procedures posted on our campus. In compliance with CDC guidelines masks are required to be worn by unvaccinated patrons while at the Alliance. We can’t wait to welcome you!