These special, ArtWalla-sponsored events and gatherings are becoming an integral part of our growing arts community, and we are continually seeking new and innovative ways to engage local artists.
ArtWalla envisions an arts culture of excellence with vibrant events, innovative programs and multiple, diverse sources of sustained support. Our mission is to support and strengthen the arts as an integral part of daily life and development in the Walla Walla Valley.
The Dia De Los Muertos Steamroller Print Project brings together artists, students, local businesses, and the community for a collaborative art event inspired by the "Day of the Dead" holiday where people throughout Latin American gather to celebrate the lives of departed friends and family.
More than 1,500 people in the Walla Walla region come to this free event, which brings together an incredibly diverse group. This festival came about because of the vision and collaboration of organizations across the city, including Shakespeare Walla Walla, Art Walla, Carnegie Picture Lab and Whitman College Art Department.
As part of the festival Nicole Pietrantoni's Whitman art students collaboratively print giant woodcuts using a steamroller. For over a month before the festival, Beginning Printmaking students hand-carve their designs on 4-by-4-foot and 4-by-8-foot sheets of medium density fiberboard. These designs depict iconic Dia de los Muertos images, such as skulls, skeletons, harvest, and nature. The steamroller is then used as the printing press to create giant prints on cloth which are on display and for sale after the festival. The students also help teach community members how to carve their own mini-relief blocks, which could be printed on t-shirts using the steamroller. The resounding success of the inaugural Dia de los Muertos was due to the enthusiasm and support of local organizations, schools and the community.
Saturday - Process and Concert:
The Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival begins at the First Congregational Church on Palouse, down Main Street, and ends at the Gesa Power House Theater for a free concert featuring Pasco High School Mariachi, Ballet Folkorico. More than 100 local students participate in the procession with painted faces or masks they created ahead of time. The procession is open to the public. A police escort will be provided.
Sunday - Community Festival:
The main attraction of the festival is the "Steamroller Print Project" led by Whitman College Art Professor, Nicole Pietrantoni. This entails Whitman art students inking their pieces, lying it on the ground with a cloth on top, and allowing a steamroller to drive over and press the ink into the cloth.
Other free activities will include face-painting, a Shakespearean-themed "Pageant of the Dead" performed by local student groups, music, dance performances, and more. Community alters (ofrendas) will also be on display.
The street in front of Gesa Power House Theater will be closed to accommodate the festival on both days (6th Ave from Rose to Sumach).
Admission and all activities are free and open to the public.
Food vendors will be present.