Local owners Saqib "Q" and Natasha of the Arizona Wildcats Store, took their family's love for the rich cultures they grew up with in Tucson and commissioned local artist Marcoso Oliva to help create the Día de Los Muertos Wildcat Face. Together, they aimed to showcase the diverse cultures that have inspired art all over Tucson, taking elements from Hispanic culture, the local landscape, classic University of Arizona logos and the Arizona Wildcat community.
They started with the original Arizona Wildcat face and altered it to represent traditional Mexican sugar skulls, adding symbols of Tucson and the state of Arizona.
For instance, the infinity sign was placed to show that the love for the university is infinite. Many of the elements were derived from the University of Arizona's vintage logos as a way to pay tribute to the rich past of the institution and those who came before it.
This project has been a great way for a collaborative mark to be such a symbol of the local culture and the University of Arizona. While it has roots in Día de Los Muertos, it goes beyond that as well. It brings together a diverse group of individuals who love to Bear Down with pride and honor the culture that makes Tucson so beautiful!
"This is art and as a team we looked to create a beautiful thing that symbolized Tucson and the University of Arizona. This piece was made for EVERYONE in Tucson and generations to come."
Saqib "Q", Co-owner of the Arizona Wildcats Store
All Souls Procession
Tucson has been home to the All Souls Procession since 1990. The Procession is inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead, but true to the flavor of Tucson, it is also a celebration of spirits and ancestors through performance art and music.
Originally started by local artist Susan Johnson to help her grieve her father’s death, the procession has grown to be an annual event. It now draws more than 150,000 people to the Old Pueblo each year to honor and grieve the loss of loved ones.
Organized by the nonprofit Many Mouths One Stomach, the Procession is two miles long and ends with a ceremonial burning of a large urn filled with prayers, poems, thoughts and wishes of the people gathered for those who have passed on. Thousands dressed in costumes gather in the street to parade through Downtown Tucson. Faces are painted like traditional sugar skulls. Photos of loved ones are adorned to costumes and parade floats.
The Procession is held the first Sunday in November and is an important part of what makes Tucson so special.