La Calavera Catrina Exhibit & Festivities Highlight Dia de los Muertos Celebración at Tucson Botanical Gardens

La Calavera Catrina, a bilingual exhibition featuring eight-foot-tall sculptures of La Catrina highlights the Diá de los Muertos celebration at Tucson Botanical Gardens (TBG) on Sunday, November 5th (9:30 am to 3:30 pm).  Children’s activities and a Mariachi performance will also be part of the celebration. 

La Calavera Catrina exhibit features nine colorful and joyful skeleton sculptures as well as four Monarch butterfly sculptures and a memory wall. One of the most recognizable figures of Diá de los Muertos, La Catrina remains a light-hearted and well-loved part of Mexican culture and is on view at TBG in the Barrio Garden and the Legacy Gallery through December 31, and is included with general admission.

La Calavera Catrina is created by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero, and organized by Denver Botanic Gardens with funding support from the Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historic Preservation.  Depicted as an elegant female skeleton, La Catrina was originally born out of Mexican social satire.  Visitors to this exhibition will explore popular La Catrina iconography including Frida Kahlo, Mexican actress Maria Felix, Mictēcacihuātl, the Aztec queen of the underworld, and more. Signage accompanying the sculptures explains the history and context of La Catrina iconography in both Spanish and English.

Diá de los Muertos Celebratión, Sunday, November 5th: 

Presented by Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation

Join us on Sunday, November 5th to celebrate Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in TBG’s beloved Nuestro Jardín, our Barrio Garden. Enjoy the La Calavera Catrina exhibit as well as festive floral displays and our ofrenda, a community altar to honor the lives of family and friends who have passed. Enjoy mariachi music, crafting workshops, and educational programming for all ages.

Children’s Activities

9:00am – 2:00pm in the Children’s Garden

Decorate Calaveras de Azúcar (sugar skulls), craft monarch butterfly wings, celebrate with La Calavera Catrina face painting, and make milkweed seed bursts for your own butterfly garden!

Mariachi Performance

2:30pm – 3:30pm in the Grove

Enjoy a musical performance by local mariachi group, Sonido de Mexico!

About the Tucson Botanical Gardens:

Located on the site of the historic Porter property, Tucson Botanical Gardens (TBG) is a five and a half acre collection of 20 pocket gardens in the heart of Tucson, Arizona.  Selected #4 in USA Today’s 10Best Botanical Gardens Readers’ Choice Awards for 2023, the 20 Gardens showcase native plants of the Sonoran Desert as well as many non-native plants. TBG is home to Butterfly Magic, the only tropical butterfly exhibit in Southwest Arizona, local and international art exhibits, community classes, and events such as LightsUp!, a Festival of Illumination, now in its second year. Edna’s Eatery as well as event services for groups, weddings and social gatherings are available at the Gardens. The Tucson Botanical Gardens are located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712.  Learn more and purchase tickets at

Pictured above – Image credits: Ricardo Soltero, La Catrina garbancera de José Guadalupe Posada, fiberglass and paint, 2017. Photo © Scott Dressel-Martin, courtesy Denver Botanic Gardens.
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