Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead

Limited Edition Sugar skull rings and cuff by Marisa Martinez 2015

Limited Edition Sugar skull rings and cuff by Marisa Martinez 2015

This Fall I am very excited to announce the launch of my new line of Limited Edition Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead Jewelry. I hope you enjoy these new playful pieces as much as I enjoyed creating them. Over the years I have incorporated a few sugar skulls in my work here and there and people sometimes ask, “what is with the skulls?” I love this question because it offers me an opportunity to talk about my beautiful Mexican cultural heritage and it’s traditions. Most of the time people assume that I really like Halloween. Others think it is all about death or something scary. So I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in on one of the most sacred and beautiful traditions in the world.

Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead is simply put a celebration of life. For three days we celebrate the lives of the people we love who have passed. We remember them, what they liked to eat, their favorite music, their stories. During those three day we prepare ofrendas/ alters for those who have passed filled with beautiful flowers, delicious food, and recuerdos (special momentos or pictures) of the loved ones. We make or buy sugar skulls with our children to teach them to not fear the dead or death itself. We sometimes even paint our faces as sugar skulls to participate in the celebration of our loved ones return. These sugar skulls represent the people who died. They are a symbol of this celebration of life in our culture. We believe that the actual spirits of our loved ones come to visit us during this time. It is a beautiful sacred time for us to be with them again and a time for us to remember them and pass on their stories to our children.

Over the years many more of our people have begun to celebrate this tradition here in the USA. As a Xicana, a Mexican born here to a migrant worker family, I am very proud of my culture and heritage. I want my son’s to grow up knowing about their beautiful culture and heritage and to be proud as well. It is so amazing to see that the beauty of our traditions have survived and made it all the way here to Minnesota. Being displaced from my roots at a young age I didn’t grow up celebrating many of my cultural holidays. It wasn’t until I came here in college that I found myself again. I am so happy that now I am able to share this with my children and that they will learn to pass it onto theirs too. This line is made in celebration of that. I chose the symbol of the sugar skull because of it’s duality and playfulness. I want people to wear these pieces and feel my joy of being able to celebrate my cultural heritage. I want these pieces to be a recuerdo (reminder) to never forget those we love who have left this world. To celebrate our loved ones and the lives they lived. And ultimately to remind ourselves to live our lives with passion and intent because someday someone will be remembering us and telling our story.

I am also very happy to be included again in this Year’s Festival de las Calaveras (Sugar Skulls) I will be showing my work at Electric Machete’s new gallery in St. Paul on their opening night on Oct. 16th at 7pm. Last year two of my shrines/ ofrendas were included but this year I will be showcasing my new line of Calavera jewelry. There will be the limited edition artisan line as well as an expanded calavera everyday wear line. So please come by the opening if you can and see it!




And in case you are wondering…What’s Festival de las Calaveras in Minnesota all about?

Festival de las Calaveras is a multimedia Latino music and arts festival organized and presented by Tlalnepantla Arts. The festival focuses on the traditional and contemporary celebration of Day of the Dead, which honors the memory of ancestors and loved ones, the duality of life and death, and the corn growing season.

In 2013, the first festival was organized to bring awareness to the Zenteotl Project’s community gardening work that is dedicated to planting blue corn, and extends the collective Day of the Dead ofrenda (offering) that culminates the corn growing season on the same plot where the corn is planted in south Minneapolis.

The festival extends the mission of Tlalnepantla Arts to honor and share an indigenous Mexican tradition with the Latino community and the Twin Cities, and to build a platform for the presentation of multiple forms of art and creativity that express our cultural pride.

Fore more information about Tlalnepantla Arts and the Zenteotl Project, please visit

The Zenteotl Project strives to reclaim and recover our connection with zentli (corn), the earth, and community through gardening and creative expression in our urban Minneapolis environment. zenteotl.org

New Classes for March and April and a look back at 2014!

New classes for March and April! The new schedule is out and classes fill up fast as there is a max of 4 students per class! I love that I get to teach in a small group like this! It makes for a great learning experience for the student but also a great teaching experience for me! I have also made the decision to limit my teaching to 6 months out of the year! My teaching months will be Feb-Apr and Aug-Oct. This will allow me to focus the other 6 months of the year on my own work and learning experiences. I am learning that balance in my life is key. I love to give my time and knowledge to others but I also need to nourish my personal work and passion for learning. I think this is good for everyone! While I continue to grow as an artist I will have more to offer to you, my students, as well! NOTE: I will still be open to hosting a private party or class for a special event as well as open studio time. So please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in these! To register for classes visit: http://marisamartinez.bigcartel.com/category/classes-workshops

New class schedule for March and April! Max class size of 4! So Hurry! Register online: http://marisamartinez.bigcartel.com/category/classes-workshops

New class schedule for March and April! Max class size of 4! So Hurry! Register online: http://marisamartinez.bigcartel.com/category/classes-workshops

Looking back over the past year has made me realize two things. One that time goes by way too fast and two that a whole lot can happen in one year! As I take inventory of all that has happened my heart swells with gratitude. Thankfulness for all the people in my life that support my dream and that continue to encourage and push me to go further. Without all of you I could not continue to do what I love. I am beyond excited to see what this year has in store for my little piece of the world. I hope you continue to join me on this ride and see for yourself! Since it has been way too long since my last post…almost a year to be exact, I decided that a look back over the past year of my business was warranted. Here are some highlights: