Josh Linam walks with his 1-year-old son Jonas through the La Calavera Catrina exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Larger than life sculptures of La Calavera Catrina, one of Día de los Muertos’ most recognizable figures, have taken over the grounds of Tucson Botanical Gardens, smiling down widely on visitors and adorned in brightly colored traditional Mexican attire.

The exhibit, by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero, features 8- to 9-foot tall skeleton figures of La Catrina, who was born out of Mexican social satire, depicting the upper classes, and is still depicted in art today in celebration of the holiday.

Soltero’s sculptures represent nine figures from Mexican culture, including La Catrina de Diego Rivera, La Friducha, La Catrina garbancera de Jose Guadalupe Posada and La Catrina vestida de mariposas, amongst others.

The traveling exhibit comes from Denver Botanic Gardens where it was on display in fall 2017. This is the first time the installation is on exhibit outside of Denver.

The exhibit is on display through Nov. 29. The gardens are open daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also check it out during the cooler evening hours when the botanical gardens are lit up from 6 to 9 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, timed tickets have to be reserved in advance at tucsonbotanical.org.

A limited number of tickets will be available for various blocks of time. For more information on other coronavirus-related measures, head to the website.

La Catrina garbancera de Jose Guadalupe Posada stands among the foliage at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

The sculptures, which stand 8 to 9 feet tall, are part of a traveling exhibit the comes from the Denver Botanic Gardens.

The La Calavera Catrina exhibit is on display at the Tucson Botanical Gardens through Nov. 29.


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