The Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial is displaying the new 7th grade art projects this month. In the spirit of Dia los Muertos, seventh grade art students at Mason Junior High created plaster mask images of each other and wrote an ode or a remembrance of a special person in their lives. The process started with history about the development of the tradition in Mexico and Central America. Families gather on November 1st to remember those who have died by creating elaborate altars to honor the deceased. They decorate with flowers, favorite foods, photos, and personal items belonging to the person they are honoring. They decorate cemeteries, celebrate, and eat meals together there.
The skeleton is used to mock death. At typical celebrations one can see skeleton art everywhere from huge murals to the tiny sugar candy skull treats given to children. The skeletons are depicted doing ordinary life chores or in celebration by dancing and eating lavish meals.
Students discussed their own heritage and how the features of their faces come from the lineage of their families. They discussed the ties we have with those who have preceded us and how their lives will affect those around them.
To see these wonderful masks and read the accompanying odes and remembrances, visit Mason County Library where they are exhibited.