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Arts & Culture | Satellite Celebration

The Tonantzin Society will hold a satellite celebration with Wayne Hilton’s Hermosos Huesos project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Mexican artist and printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913). The celebration will be held Saturday, January 19 to January 20. The celebrations in Topeka, Kan. and El Paso will be simultaneous.  

Jose Guadalupe Posada was an illustrator and printmaker born in Aguascalientes, Mexico on Feb. 2, 1852.  Many artists including legendary Diego Rivera considered Posada the precursor of Mexican modern art.  Jose Posada’s images and style of calavera (skeleton) art are dominant in Dia de los Muertos celebrations all over the world. Yet Posada, the creator of “La Calavera Catrina”, the iconic female skeleton figure, died penniless and forgotten.

“There are two aspects of our satellite celebration in conjunction with Wayne’s," said Christina Valdivia-Alcala, co-founder of the Tonantzin Society. “Wayne is sending us one of his completed La Catrina figures and on Saturday, January 19th our Tonantzin members will be taking photos of her out and about Topeka in important locations across our city.” Photos will be shared on Hermosos Huesos social media sites that same day and may eventually be a part of the book the artist is also writing and creating detailing the journey to the completed art exposition.

“The second part," said Valdivia-Alcala, “will be a creation of a large ofrenda (altar) remembering Posada’s life. We will use flowers, candles, photos, lights and an abundance of Posada related calavera art. During our small celebration we will talk more about the life of Posada and his critical social commentary during Mexico’s turbulent pre-revolutionary period. Discussions will surround his use of the calavera in the bulk of his work and Posada’s influence in how we currently celebrate Día de los Muertos.  And of course we will have a hearty toast to him!”  Photos and videos from Sunday’s celebration will also be shared on Hilton’s social media sites.

The Hermosos Huesos (Beautiful Bones) is the project of El Paso, Texas artist, Wayne Hilton. This art exposition homage to the works of Posada will be completed and unveiled in Texas in Nov. 2013. Wayne’s project uses recycled materials to bring life to the Catrina icon.  Hilton has created 13 different Catrina’s in various designs and each will have a specific environment and case they will travel in.  The Mexican Consulate of El Paso, Texas and the Smithsonian Institution are each in talks with Hilton to have the exhibition on display. The installations will later travel and exhibit at museums and cultural and educational institutions. The Tonantzin Society is a sponsor of Hilton’s project and Topeka will be one of the locations for this one of a kind exposition.

Valdivia-Alcala shared, “Tonantzin Society members will attend to the opening of the Hermosos Huesos exposition in El Paso.  Of course we are cutting it close since our 2013 Día de los Muertos Topeka citywide festival will be closing on Nov. 1st! But Wayne’s project is worth the Society’s commitment.  There is no doubt Topeka will host the wonderful displays of this Mexican female iconic figure and we truly believe La Catrina will draw people from all over to our capitol city.”

For more information please about Hermosos Huesos please visit:!/hermososhuesos or 

For more information about Dia de los Muertos Topeka please visit: or

About The Tonantzin Society: The Tonantzin Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and nurturing Latino arts and culture. They are partnered with the Topeka Community Foundation for their non-profit status. The Society members are all volunteer and from a cross section of the Topeka community across Kansas.   





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