COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Mexican holiday, Día De Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is a tradition that is meant to celebrate passed loved ones.

What You Need To Know

  • Nov. 1 and 2 is the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos’, translated as Day of the Dead

  • It's a Mexican holiday meant to remember loved ones who passed away

  • Central Ohio Mexican artist, Emma Garcia Madrid, uses fine cut paper art to celebrate and honor her culture 

Artist Emma Garcia Madrid creates symbolic Mexican art to honor her culture.  

“The Mexican symbols is what I work," said Garcia Madrid.

She is a retired teacher who now spends her time in her home studio making art pieces to share her culture in central Ohio. She calls the unique technique she uses to create her pieces "fine cut paper," but in Mexican culture, it’s called something else.  

“I call it 'fine cut paper,' but in Mexico, we have a technique named a chalk paper, but it’s made, and I’ve tried to do it, but I could not because you do it with a hammer,” said Garcia Madrid.

Garcia Madrid is starting to create a piece depicting famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She said one piece could take months to make but the process is worth it because every piece of artwork tells an important story.

“In Mexico, it’s part of our family. It’s not a legend, it’s not a joke. For us, it’s very serious,” said Garcia Madrid. 

And remembering the dead for Dia De Los Muertos’, is especially important. 

“Death is with us all the time. It’s a possibility. You have to have it in our mind. You must have it present in your life,” said Garcia Madrid.

The importance of family, memories and culture is what drives Mexican artists like Garcia Madrid to create pieces and keep the traditions alive for generations to come. 

“This is a phrase from one of Frida Kahlo’s letters that she sent to Rico Rivera, who was her husband, and it says, ‘I always asked to myself why you and not somebody else,'" said Garcia Madrid.