The 5th grade students of Treasure Coast Elementary learned about the significance of the Spanish cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos in Mrs. Modesitt’s art class. They also learned about the artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada, who created the print “La Calavera Catrina – (The Elegant Skull)” and how it came to be recognized as the original image associated with the Day of the Dead celebrations. They also learned that the character “Lady Catrina” was created from this image and she is considered to be the internationally recognized symbol or character representing the Day of the Dead celebrations. They also learned that subsequent artists created their own versions of the sugar skull designs based on the original creation of Lady Catrina’s face.
The students worked within small groups to create the seven different projects that constituted the whole of the presentation seen in the photos. All parts of the project represent items that are commonly seen in the Dia de los Muertos decorations. They created an altar; a piñata; clay representations of Pan de Muertos (day of the dead bread), Mexican hot chocolate and sugar skulls; tissue paper marigolds; lanterns; one group created scratch boards and designed their own version of a sugar skull drawing; and lastly they created their own version of traditional clothing worn during the festivities and dressed up the wooden mannequins with them.
These projects were put on display for the length of Dia de los Muertos celebrations which last from October 31st until November 2nd.