Current Exhibitions

Dia de Los Muertos

Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind

October 6, 2022, to Sunday, November 27, 2022

Community Reception: Saturday, October 8, 2022 | 12 PM – 3 PM 

David Flores, Diosa del Cempazuchitl, Acrylic on canvas, 2022

This year’s exhibition will focus on the cempasúchil, also known as the marigold flower, and how it relates to the traditions of the holiday. It is said that the souls of the dead can reunite with their loved ones twice a year.  The ofrendas or altars are filled with offerings such as candles, flowers, and food that guide the soul from the land of the dead to the living. Items such as the cempasúchil were believed to illuminate the night during their journey, so the spirits do not become lost. The cempasúchil calls to the afterlife much like the sound of a musical instrument draws people in with its notes.

The Ontario Museum of History & Art hopes you can join us as we celebrate Día de Los Muertos, Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind opening from Thursday, October 6, 2022, to Sunday, November 27, 2022, at the Museum. The exhibition on view will include paintings, drawings, photographs, altars, illustrations, and sculptures. Join us to embrace the roots of the holiday’s indigenous origin and continue to celebrate with each other and our departed loved ones. The community can participate in the festivities at our community reception and other programs being held on-site at the museum.

Exhibition Related Programs

We welcome you to the galleries and to participate in our free public programming! For more information, please call (909) 395-2510. 

Open House Reception: Día de Los Muertos Exhibition 

Saturday, October 8, 2022 | 12 PM- 3 PM                                                                                   

Celebrate the opening of our annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition, Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind on view through November 27th.  Meet the artists and learn more about the significance of the Mexican marigold, Cempasúchil. Folklorico performers, calavera face-painting and art-making activities will be available during the event. 

Art Cart Activity: Calavera Mask Making

Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 5 PM – 8 PM

Stop by the Museum this Thursday evening and participate in this month’s Art Cart activity by making your own Calavera Mask in preparation for Day of the Dead. This is a drop-in activity and supplies are limited.

‡ Reservation recommended, but not required. To reserve your spot, please call (909) 395-2510 or register online here. 

Virtual Community Talk: Mexica (Aztec) History of Día de Los Muertos

Thursday, October 27, 2022

6 PM – 7 PM 

Join us this evening for a community talk with Dr. Elisa Mandell, Professor of Art History at California State University Fullerton. Dr. Elisa Mandell will explore the Mexica origins of Día de Los Muertos which is nationally celebrated in Mexico.  

‡ Reservation recommended, but not required. To reserve your spot, please call (909) 395-2510 or register online here.

Link to join Webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89915064942

Ontario Art Walk: An Evening at the Museum

Saturday, November 19, 2022  | 6 PM – 9 PM

The Museum is one of the many locations to catch in the evening, make your way to the Downtown Ontario Art District, shop artisan vendors and support local businesses throughout the evening.  The museum will host community Folklorico Dancers led by Maria Elena Alavarez as part of our Día de Los Muertos, Cempasúchil: Instruments of the Wind exhibit. 

This exhibit explores the unique history of Ontario—it’s founding, transitions, people and organizations. Explore Ontario from its roots beginning with the Native Peoples and Californio Rancheros to its founding by George Chaffey. Discover why it has been called both a “Model Colony” and the “Gem of the Foothills.” The book, Ontario The Gem of the Foothills by Michael L. Rounds, traces Ontario history from the Native American era to the present day. Many historic images from the museum’s collections are published here for the first time. This interpretive history about our community is for sale in the museum store.