George Newnam's Casa de Calaveras

Day of the Dead come to life? That's one way to look at artist George Newnam's amazing Casa de Calaveras (the House of the Skeletons), on display this weekend at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Casa de Calaveras, which has grown into a beloved autumn-time staple of the Southern California art scene, returns yearly to the Bowers over All Souls Weekend during the museum's Dia de los Muertos festivities.

Life-size muertos figures posed in various tableaux tell the moving tale of a couple who return to earth each Day of the Dead to savor what we enjoy (and often take for granted) on this plane of existence. The joyful pair, Jose and Gloria Calavera, get engaged and get married during their earthly adventures; the dressed-up duo also celebrates the holidays and pays a visit to gypsy caravan to have a fortune told. Black light, colorful blinking bulbs and skeletons clothed in top hats and fashionable gowns lend the walk-through exhibit a mysterious aura and a personal vibe.

The Bowers is also hosting Dia de los Muertos activities both afternoons, including sugar-skull decorating, altar viewing and scrumptious pan de muerto. 

November 1 and 2
Bowers Museum
1802 N. Main Street, Santa Ana

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