La Calavera Catrina. The Tucson Botanical Gardens has opened a Dia de los Muertos-themed exhibit after COVID-19 forced them to close their doors in March. “La Calavera Catrina’’ decorates midtown with nine-foot-tall depictions of Mexican cultural figures as joyful skeletal sculptures. The works are created by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero. This is the first time the exhibit, organized by the Denver Botanic Gardens, is on display outside of Denver.
This idea of a common humanity across cultures is a major reason Soltero thinks the influence of the Day of The Dead has grown in recent decades, and is a source of great pride that people globally have embraced the holiday. Additionally “La Calavera Catrina” offers visitors an opportunity to see the gardens showcased in a way never before seen, according to botanical gardens spokesperson Rob Elias.
“We’ve added just a tremendous amount of lighting,” he said. “They’re going to be in a range of colors that fit thematically ... We’re going with a lot of oranges and purples and reds and yellows and blues. It’s gonna be quite stunning.”
Visitors need to plan ahead to experience the exhibit because the gardens have moved to a reservation system as a COVID-19 precaution. Guests select the number of tickets and a two hour block of visiting time during the day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gardens will also be opening during evening hours Thursday through Sunday in hour and a half time slots from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 2150 North Alvernon Way.