El Velorio Celebrates Dia de los Muertos with Art and Music at Plaza de la Raza – Saturday, October 13
Now in its ninth year, El Velorio returns to Plaza de la Raza on Saturday, October 13! Cartwheel Art is excited to support the event as a media partner. Antonio Pelayo, the artist and event producer behind El Velorio, says it all started because he wanted to give his creative friends a way to show their work.
Pelayo, who was born in Glendale and raised in Mexico, has been exhibiting his own art since around 2005. He was regularly approached by friends who were artists themselves, or who had kids that were artists, wanting to know how to get their art out there. After a friend suggested he curate an art show, Pelayo says, “I started curating small art exhibits where I would bring in two or three of my friends that had never exhibited before.” He curated monthly exhibits for about a year and a half, and then decided to focus on organizing one big event a year instead.
About 25 artists were involved in the first El Velorio back in 2010. He says, “We had music, live painting, face painting, photo booths… a bunch of stuff. About 600 people showed up, and from that point on, I just sort of continued doing the event.”
That first year, the event was just a big party and art show. The following year, Pelayo decided to make El Velorio a benefit for a local arts nonprofit. At first he chose a different nonprofit each year. “For the past several years, I’ve produced it at Plaza de la Raza, and it’s been a benefit for that organization, which teaches art to kids, from drawing, painting, sculpting, acting, dance, music—any type of art.” He adds, “If someone comes and purchases an art piece, 40% of the proceeds go to Plaza de la Raza and 60% goes to the artist. Part of the door and part of the bar goes to Plaza as well.”
El Velorio has a Dia de los Muertos motif every year, and Pelayo chooses a related theme for the art. He says, “The art exhibit is comprised of over 120 artists. Each person is doing their own interpretation of “Til Death Do Us Part,’ the theme from this year.”
As usual, the event also includes live performances, DJs, and lots more. Pelayo says, “The main attraction is the band Buyepongo. They’re headlining on the main stage, and Subsuelo is a DJ crew. My son is going to be performing on the main stage—he does hip-hop.” Fashion designer Loretta Vampz is bringing in models for a Dia de los Muertos fashion show. El Velorio will also feature a car show, live art, movie screenings, food, drinks, and vendors.
If you’ve never been to El Velorio, this video will give you an idea what to expect:
Saturday, October 13 (7 pm – 2 am)
All ticketholders must be 21 or older.
Plaza de la Raza
3540 North Mission Road
Los Angeles, CA 90031