Halloween is just a few days away, and following closely on its heels is Day of the Dead. In celebration of these two holidays and to kick off the fun seasonal festivities that accompany them, Houston’s Discovery Green Conservancy and Houston First Corporation have commissioned 10 seven-foot-tall painted skulls. Placed throughout the city’s Discovery Green park and along the Avenida de las Americas, the spectacular skulls form part of a public art installation called Celebración de Vida by urban art collective Mexicráneos. The group was originally formed in order to celebrate Mexican popular culture through Día de los Muertos, which is one of the country’s richest and most ancient traditions.
Each of the skulls was painted by a different Mexican artist based around themes that portray a certain aspect of Mexican heritage and culture. Previous installations by Mexicráneos have been presented in Mexico City; Paris; and Lille, France; but this installation marks the first time these artists have shown their work in the United States. Though Day of the Dead is traditionally a Mexican holiday, its popularity has crossed borders as an expression of Mexican heritage and as a time when families and friends gather to celebrate and remember loved ones who have died.
The painted skulls will be on view through November 7, and if you’re in the Houston area, you can see the stunning artworks in person. There’s no doubt that the sight will be Instagram-worthy, so visitors are encouraged to share their experiences with the hashtags #mexicraneos, #discoverygreen, and #avenidahouston. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a community altar that will take place on November 1. Created by Houston artist Angel Quesada, the altar will be an opportunity for visitors to leave copies of photos or precious mementos in honor of loved ones.
For those who are a bit further away, you can still enjoy the installation virtually. Scroll down to see images of the fantastic painted skulls. To learn more about the Celebración de Vida installation, visit Discovery Green’s website.