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For painter Piedad Uribe, Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead celebration—a colorful fusion of Catholic and Aztec traditions—offers an opportunity for art-historical homage. The altar Uribe has constructed for today’s observance honors not his deceased family members, as is customary, but his artistic forebears, the Mexican greats Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Uribe has decorated the artsy altar with whimsical calaveras (representations of public figures in the guise of skeletons, a genre popularized by 19th-century political cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada) personalized with the artists’ likenesses. Tonight, Uribe presents his piece, lectures on the altar and its connections to the ancient Aztec concept of death, and serves a post-lecture batch of sugary Pan de Muerto (“Bread of the Dead”) at 7 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 728-1675. (Leonard Roberge)