La Calaca festival: public and participatory arts

By Ángela Lewis

You are invited to the first annual La Calaca Festival in San Miguel de Allende, November 1-4, 2012. The four-day, multi-disciplinary event will be integrated into the vibrant celebration of Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). La Calaca Festival is both a homage to long-standing traditions and a celebration of the creativity of the San Miguel community. As a participatory arts festival, La Calaca aims to foster collaboration among the local community and to welcome visiting artists and friends. We are excited to announce two of the large-scale art installations that will occur during Día de Muertos in San Miguel: Las Calaveras and Spirits by Spencer Tunick.

Arts and Music Festival
La Calaca Festival
Thu, Nov 1-Sun, Nov 4
Parque Juárez, Jardín Principal and other locations

Las Calaveras is a public art installation: a collection of giant skulls based on the concept of the Cow Parade. La Calaca Festival and our generous supporters will present six decorated Calaveras on display throughout the cobblestone streets. These large-scale skull heads are currently in production here in San Miguel, painted, decorated and adorned by members of our local artist community. These artists, including Alejandro Rivera and Anado McLauchlin, were challenged to explore the themes of Día de Muertos in their works. Las Calaveras will be visually striking and magnificent and most importantly will engage the entire community in the power of public art.

La Calaca Festival presents Spirits, an installation by renowned artist Spencer Tunick, recognized worldwide for his elaborately-posed still and video images of multiple nude figures in unexpected public settings. His temporary site-specific installations have taken place around the globe in cities including Montreal, Melbourne, Lyon, Santiago, New York and Mexico City. Tunick gathers volunteers to participate in his art; in the past participants have totaled anywhere from 100 – 18,000. His work combines sculpture, performance and land art that consistently features skillfully-posed nudes juxtaposed in urban and natural environments.

The artist has been infatuated with San Miguel de Allende for years since introduced to the UNESCO World Heritage Site by patron Spook Stream. La Calaca Festival challenged him to embrace the reverence and celebration intrinsic in Mexican culture and to create an installation reflecting those values. Spirits is his response to this challenge. On November 4, 2012 Tunick will create an ethereal piece paying homage to the themes of Día de Muertos. To participate in this distinctive opportunity, please register here:

For more information about La Calaca Festival and a schedule of events, please visit or Tickets for TEDxSanMigueldeAllende are now on sale at:

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