Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Oaxacan Sand Painters Celebrate Día de los Muertos in SA 

click to enlarge sand_painting_2.jpg

Over the past several decades, Día de los Muertos — traditionally a holiday celebrated in Mexico — has integrated into San Antonio culture with flying colors. Among the holiday's lesser-known practices is Oaxacan "sand painting" — an art form incorporating stencils, colored powder or bas-relief techniques to produce large-scale, three-dimensional images.

Collaborating with Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec artists (including Olegario Hernández Mendoza, Saul Castro, Alejandro Martinez and Francisco Leonel López Villegas), UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures will be showcasing a display of Oaxacan-style sand painting in observance of Día de los Muertos. Beginning Saturday, ITC guests can witness the sculpting of sand pieces reflecting the attributes associated with the holiday — such as skulls and skeletons — along with indigenous imagery drawn from the Aztec pantheon. These unique sand sculptures have rarely been seen in the US and this site-specific installation presents a unique — yet limited — viewing experience.

Setup begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sat, Oct. 31, and the finished piece could take up to nine hours to complete. The ITC's senior communications specialist James Benavides suggested 2-3 p.m. as a good time to "catch things taking shape." The piece will remain in place through Nov. 8, which coincides with the museum's Free Second Sunday series.

$6-$8, 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, noon-5pm Sun, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César Chávez Blvd., (210) 458-2300,

click to enlarge sand_painting_1.jpg

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation