Alexis Newton (Calaveras en Mi Ciudad), Yenny Hernández (The Colors SV), and Josemario Sequeira (Oh Gravity Studio)
Calaveras, Sienta La Magia
October 2023

About Calaveras en Mi Ciudad:

In 2020, art leader, Alexis Newton, founded and curated Calaveras en Mi Ciudad, an annual mobile art exhibit to bring larger-than-life papier-mâché calaveras (skulls) to Colorado to be enjoyed during Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The Calaveras exhibit is a collaboration with Latino artists who were invited to participate: Anthony Garcia Sr., Armando Silva, Chelsea Lewinski, Juls Mendoza, Karma Leigh, Norberto Mojardin, Xencs L. Wing, Charlo G. Walterbach, Bimmer Torres, and Spaik, all who hand-painted the calaveras. The original papier-mâché mold of the calaveras was created by artist Ricardo Soltero. Each calavera that is part of Calaveras en Mi Ciudad is a personal statement that is unique to its creator – each expressing a visual story of who they are, where they come from and how they place themselves within the ancestral tradition of Día de los Muertos. The Calaveras are the most well-known symbol of Día de los Muertos, a holiday and day of remembrance in Mexico that removes the fear of death and reminds us that our lives and spirit continue, even after our physical bodies have ceased living.

Since 2020, Calaveras en Mi Ciudad has been displayed throughout Colorado at locations that can be enjoyed by all: the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, Breck Create, Raices Brewery, Denver Central Market, Raizado Festival and many other locations.

Calaveras en Mi Ciudad is a way to support the talent of Latino artists and share the rich cultural and artistic traditions of Día de los Muertos in the Colorado community. By creating and encouraging connections and conversations, the calaveras inspire and pay tribute to the celebration of life and beauty of the Día de los Muertos celebration.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a great fear of dying, and even though the pandemic itself is now largely behind us, many people are still left with this exaggerated fear of death. The art display of the Calaveras and the spirit of the Day of the Dead festival is an important reminder that death is not to be feared and that we never truly lose those who pass from this life. Although the goal of the art exhibit is always to honor Latino traditions and culture, Alexis felt it was also especially important to pay homage to loved ones who had passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly since the Latino population was one of the most affected populations in the United States.

During the Covid-19 pandemic all arts and cultural venues were forced to close, but Alexis believed in still bringing art to the Colorado community and preserving traditions during this time, so she founded and self-funded the Calaveras mobile art exhibit. Each year the Calaveras exhibit grows and new calaveras are added to the mobile art exhibit, and each calavera is placed and displayed at various locations throughout Colorado.