Now in its 22nd year, SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibit this year will feature works from 21 contributing artists at what’s expected to be one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations held anywhere in the United States.

Organized by gallery curators Rio Yañez and Carolina Quintanilla, Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021 aims to shed light on how the grieving practices and rituals have shifted during COVID-19 — a global pandemic that’s now claimed a total of 4.6 million lives. For context: that’s a death count five times more than the population of San Francisco.

From October 3 through November 5, gallery attendees can view a wide array of traditional altars merged with contemporary installations, highlighting the sentiments of mourning and loss. And for those unable to visit the gallery IRL, a virtual showcase that contains the artworks will debut on SOMArts’ website on October 9.

“[This year’s Día de los Muertos exhibition] reflects on how the past year has transformed our visions of connection, freedom, and healing,” reads a release from the arts nonprofit. “After a year of collective isolation and survival, what are we longing for? What becomes possible when we are able to imagine futures beyond resilience?”

The exhibit will include artist dedications from Art Hazelwood and Kate DeCiccio who are honoring the late Ronnie Goodman: an unhoused artist and activist recognized as an important visual voice on homelessness, especially here in the Bay Area. Artist Elizabeth Addison will also include works that commemorate activist and artist Betty Segal who, with the help of Goodman, raised $10K for Oakland’s Charlotte Maxwell Clinic to provide free care for low-income women with cancer.

Oh… SOMArts will, too, be hosting Iluminaciones: Día de Los Muertos Drag Show on October 22, which will be curated by Per Sia and will include performances from other Bay Area drag queens and kings.

Admission to both Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021 and the aforementioned drag show are both free, but a donation to the arts nonprofit is highly suggested. All donations are tax-deductible and will ensure SOMArts — which was founded in 1979 — can continue to exist and offer its roster of unique galleries and performances for decades to come.

For more information on SOMArts’ Día de Los Muertos exhibit for 2021, as well the like-inspired drag show slotted for later next month, visit; information on the cultural center's COVID-19 health policies can be found at

Related: SOMArts Debuts 'The Black Woman Is God: Reclaim, Reconfigure, Re–Remember' Exhibit To Celebrate Black Female Creatives

Photo: The altar constructed by arist Victor Mario Zaballa | Image courtesy of SOMArts