Waukegan Library to Host “Day of the Dead” Art Exhibit

Post date: Monday, September 15, 2014 - 3:01de la tarde

Local artist Amy Lynn Ross and Chicago based artist Katrina Davis-Salazar will display diverse mixed media art celebrating the Hispanic holiday “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” at the Waukegan Library’s Gallery 128 starting September 27.

In the exhibit entitled “Dia de los Muertos: A Living Documentation”, Ross and Davis-Salazar examine the Hispanic holiday and views of life and death from both Hispanic and non-Hispanic viewpoints. The exhibit celebrates the themes of Dia de los Muertos while simultaneously exploring loss and rebirth, memory and celebration, truth and irony, and faith and fate.

Dia de los Muertos takes place on November 1st and 2nd to honor ancestors who have passed and includes dancing, picnicking at grave sites, sugar skulls, and marigolds. This tradition is intended to encourage souls to visit loved ones, comfort the living, and celebrate the dead.

A resident of Gurnee, Ross works as a designer for Sherwin-Williams and is a board member of the Dandelion Gallery in Waukegan. She is a versatile artist who focuses on layering, texture, and iconic images. She is passionate about creating art, community development, art education, and animal rescue and shows her work throughout the Chicagoland area.

Davis-Salazar is a Chicago area free-lance mixed-media painter who also works as a college instructor, muralist, wife, and mother. Her work is driven by a strong belief that the more personal art is the more universal it becomes. Personal life experiences such as loss, illness, and change have shaped her body of work and she explores the human state of being broken and whole simultaneously. Her mediums include acrylic, pastels, ink, charcoal, watercolor, and lace.

“Dia de los Muertos: A Living Documentation” will be on display at the gallery through November 7. Gallery 128 serves as a dedicated exhibit space to showcase the talents of local artists in the library. To learn more about exhibit opportunities, call Rena Morrow at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.

Decorate your own Sugar Skull for Day of the Dead

Post date: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:37de la mañana

For the third year in a row, the Waukegan Public Library will host free Sugar Skull Decorating workshops to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Dia de los Muertos. Presented by the Academia Cultural Xilotl, three workshops will take place in September and October for all ages.

The Academia Cultural Xilotl is a non-profit and family oriented organization that works to preserve the Mexican and Latin-American culture through history, art, music, and dance appreciation. The organization recognizes that culture and tradition is central to life and society and an understanding of the Mexican & Latin-American culture assists in awareness, discipline, and future values.

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that honors ancestors who have passed by decorating gravesites with sugar skulls, marigolds, and food. In the United States, the tradition is also tied to Halloween where sugar skulls are incorporated into Halloween decorations.

The free workshops take place at 6:00 pm on September 22, 29 and October 6 for all ages. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The skulls are 6”x5” in size. Registration is required, please go to or call (847) 623-2041.

America’s Got Talent BMX biker to perform on Sept. 7

Post date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 6:14de la tarde

Known as the fastest spinner in the world on a BMX bike, “America’s Got Talent” semi-finalist Matt Wilhelm will perform at this year’s Monarch Festival on Sunday, September 7 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the corner of Clayton and County Streets in downtown Waukegan. The Monarch Festival is a free family event dedicated to raising awareness in the community about the environment, healthy living, and the importance of physical activity and exercise.

Wilhelm’s amazing BMX bike tricks have earned him 3 X-Games Medals, 2 National Championships, and a host of other awards. His presentation and performance includes his own personal childhood story about bullying and he speaks to children about perseverance and motivation. Last year he performed at over 300 different schools around the country.

Other performances during the day include the Waukegan Police Department K-9 unit, the Mexican cultural dance group Erande, and local DJ Alejandro. Waukegan Public Library Summer Reading Club finishers will be recognized on stage for their accomplishment in reading over the summer.

This is the fifth year for the Monarch Festival, which draws around 1,000 community members for free games, activities, and science-based learning. During the free event, children can scale a climbing wall, see how fast they can kick a soccer ball, fly a quad copter drone, get their face painted, make a butterfly mask, hula hoop, jump rope, and much more.

Local restaurants, including Rosita La Michoacana, Dockside Dogs, and Las Marias Tortilleria, will sell food and drinks and the Chicago Botanic Gardens Green Youth Farm will offer fresh fruits and vegetables from their local farmer’s market.

Sponsors of the Monarch Festival include Bright Start College Savings, Prairie Crossing Charter School, Great Lakes Credit Union, Words on Wheels, Lewis Fresh Market, Vista Health, Consumers Credit Union, Erie Family Health, H&R Block, Rosita La Michoacana, Classic Toyota, Puro Futbol, Mundo Fox, Waukegan Park District, and Most Blessed Trinity Parish.

For questions about the festival, the performers or exhibitors, call Rena Morrow, Marketing and Exhibits Manager at the Waukegan Public Library, at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.