Sarah Brooke Lyons

City Story: Sarah Brooke Lyons

Photographer & Artist

Left brained creative seeking spirituality.

Día de los Muertos is a citywide celebration in San Antonio. As a community, we come together to honor those who came before us and to lift up our ancestors in joyous remembrance and reverence. One of the most beautiful ways to do this is through the creation of the altar. The altar is a spiritual welcoming ground for this day of the year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.

For many years, I’ve been given the honor of curating and displaying the community’s images on the central altar during the annual Día de los Muertos celebration in San Antonio. Each year, hundreds of images of loved ones passes are sent to me from all over our city. I rarely know the people who are submitting the images, nor do I know anything about their life, but what I do know if that they were so loved. Someone chose their photo, thought about their memory and sent it as a way to celebrate their life.

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As I work through the wheat pasting process and design of the altar, I think about each individual pictured and I say a prayer over their spirit and the loved ones that remember them. I celebrate the love that they placed on this earth and I spend time recognizing how lucky I am to be a part of such a tradition that connects our community to those that came before us.

On the day of the celebration, I love to sit back and watch as visitors take in the altar, especially those that have loved ones represented as a part of the display. The Día de los Muertos altar is evidence that their spirit does in fact live, because they were here, someone else carries love in their heart. I am honored to help celebrate these lives and humbled by the power of our ancestors guiding us as we remember how they have touched the world.

Learn more about Día de los Muertos and explore the celebrations around San Antonio.

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