If in the days after Halloween you still aren't ready to let the ghouls and grossness go – or if you still want to dress up – Alexandria's Torpedo Factory has your ticket to thrills.
The Old Town art and exhibition gallery offers the exhibition Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, all next week, including a costume and dance party Friday, Nov. 2. The festivities pay tribute to the traditional Mexican and Latin American holiday for remembering loved ones who've passed.
Jeff Kelly: Dia de los Muertos
(Photo by courtesy Torpedo Factory)
Allison Nance, director of Torpedo's Target Gallery, says that store-bought Halloween costumes are perfectly welcome at the party – as are plain and simple street clothes. But in keeping with the theme, Nance notes that many – and especially those angling to win the costume contest – will wear ''white face paint [with] really detailed makeup around the eyes, and kind-of elaborate Mexican-themed costuming.'' Local rock/rockabilly band The Torches will perform as part of the event.
Meanwhile, the Target Gallery's exhibition features what Nance says are ''all kinds of different artworks, including altars made by artists that adorn the main hallway.'' Patrons will also be invited to create their own miniature altar in memory of a deceased loved one and made ''using all this weird stuff we've been collecting for them'' – including cleaned-out cat food cans. Another eccentric hands-on art project that's part of the event is a bubble-gum painting, in which a local artist creates the outline of a famous artwork – perhaps something by Frida Kahlo. The artist then instructs patrons to chew Gallery-supplied bubble gum and stick it in a designated colored spot in the painting.
''It's kind of disgusting but it's also super fun,'' Nance says. ''And of course at the very end we spray it with Lysol and seal it up.''
''Dia de los Muertos'' exhibition opens Monday, Oct. 29, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 4. The costume and dance party is Friday, Nov. 2, from 8 to 11 p.m. 'Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St., Alexandria. Exhibition is free, while party is $20 at the door. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.