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Eduardo Chaidez is the winner of the 2018 Dia de los Muertos poster art contest! His artwork quickly stood out among competitors because of the way he captured this year’s theme, “A Dream for All.”

Eduardo is a big fan of political posters and in his work for the poster art, he wanted to embrace Oakland’s history of social justice and activism and relate it to today’s political climate.

In his artist’s statement, Eduardo explains his interpretation of the theme by stating, “A Dream for All signifies a sense of selflessness and connection, this is exactly what Dia de Los Muertos is about to me—connection. This is a connection not only to the dearly departed and our ancestors but also to the connection to each other and our shared mortality. “

The little girl on the poster is Eduardo’s niece Reminie, the daughter of Eduardo’s late brother Alex. His brother Alex was the second oldest, and he was the one that taught Eduardo how to draw and inspired him to pursue art. But it took years before Eduardo realized he was an artist and that he could go to college to study art. It was not until a Latino professor from Merritt College told him, “If that is what you like and what you are good at that is what you should do.” Eduardo says it meant a lot to have a Latino male mentor and encourage him to follow his passion. This passion led him to pursue a Masters in Visual Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which he just completed this Spring.

Eduardo is the second youngest of five brothers raised by a single Mexican mother. His oldest brother died at a young age of Leukemia. His second oldest brother, Alex, who initially sparked his interest in visual arts, heartbreakingly passed away as a victim of gun violence.  In his artist’s statement, Eduardo explains that his inspiration comes from, “the  struggle  of  many  children  of  migrants,  that  feeling  of  not  belonging,  ni de aquí, ni de allá.” At one point Eduardo told us, chuckling, “I don’t even say I’m from Mexico, or from California, I say I’m from Oakland.” He says, “The feeling of being an outsider in my own country is what fuels my frustration, curiosity and drive for making art.”

Eduardo’s poster commemorates those who dared to dream and manifest the impossible.