Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ImagineIF Kalispell features Día de los Muertos art installation

| October 28, 2021 12:00 AM

ImagineIF Libraries brings a new cultural art installation to the Kalispell location this fall. The public is invited to view a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit by local artist Johnny Ratka Skinner on display through Nov. 6. This traditional display serves as a cultural expression of Mexican and Latino cultural heritage and allows observants to connect with their departed loved ones and to honor their ancestry.

While originating within what is now Mexico, Día de los Muertos is now celebrated by millions of people of Mexican and Latin American descent throughout the Southwest and the entire United States. The ancestral altar on exhibit at ImagineIF Kalispell is dedicated to the artist’s paternal third great-grandmother. Offerings reflect the eclectic blend of Mexican, Indigenous, Southwestern and Southern (United States) cultural heritage of the artist. Viewers can learn about the items numbered on the ofrenda (alter) by reading the corresponding index.

About the artist

Johnny Ratka Skinner was born and raised in Texas and has called the Flathead Valley home for the last 10 years after relocating from Dallas with his husband of 17 years. When he is not enjoying the natural scenery of the Flathead, Skinner spends most free time cooking for friends and family, sharing his love of Southern (United States) and Southwest cuisine. Skinner also spends much of his time advocating on behalf of a local nonprofit, Valley Neighbors, which seeks to make the Flathead a more welcoming environment for immigrants of all types.

ImagineIF Libraries showcased this authentic work to inspire patrons to explore cultural diversity through the library’s collections and materials.

The library welcomes the opportunity for local artists to display artwork for public viewing. Artists are encouraged to apply at