Festival of the Skeletons

Nov 01

Festival of the Skeletons
a Dia de los Muertos celebration of life
held during our November First Friday Artwalk
Friday, November 1, 6:00-9:30pm
Saturday, November 2, 11:00am-4:00pm

The Village of the Arts presents our most popular Artwalk weekend of the year - the 15th Annual Festival of the Skeletons. This year’s Festival will be held on Friday, November 1 from 6-9:30pm and Saturday, November 2 from 11am-4pm.

Festival of the Skeletons is a celebration of life as we remember our departed loved ones in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos. Each year the Artists Guild of Manatee in the Village of the Arts dedicates a community shrine during the festival to an iconic artist or other public figure. This year the Village is honoring one of the Village founders Herbie Rose along with other friends and loved ones who have called the Village of the Arts home.

This page will be updated with information as it is received from Village artists and businesses in the days leading up to the Festival of the Skeletons.

Download Event Map

Know before you go! Download the event map to guide you through your festival experience.
Festival of the Skeletons 2019 map


Admission is free.

Event Posters for Sale to Benefit Artists Guild of Manatee

 We have a limited edition of event posters for sale signed and numbered by Rob Edward, the artist who created the event art. (Rob is the owner of One One Eleven Arts.) The posters will be available at ReWorked Creations throughout the festival (located at 1227 12th St. W) and also at an event table outside Birdrock Taco Shack on Friday evening. The cost is $10, and all proceeds benefit the Artists Guild of Manatee.



Birdrock Taco Shack
Arte Caffe
Ortygia Restaurant

Food Trucks Available at the Following Galleries

#49 Art Junkies
J'Oasis Italian Granita and Island Shave Ice

#100 Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery
The Schnitzel Trailer (traditional German food)


Community Shrine

This year's community shrine honors former friends and neighbors in the Village of the Arts who have helped build the artists community since its inception in 1999, including founder and honorary Village "Mayor" Herbie Rose who passed away in 2017. The community shrine will be located in the Community Shrine Zone at the intersection of 12th St W and 11th Ave W.

Memory Wall

An interactive memory wall will be available for festival attendees to write messages to honor their loved ones. The memory wall will be located in the Community Shrine Zone at the intersection of 12th St W and 11th Ave W.

Student Art Installation

A collaborative creative attraction returns this year in the form of local student art. A group installation of sugar skulls is being created with input from 320 students from Ballard Elementary School, Rowlett Middle School, Manatee High School and IMG Academy. This project continues a renewed education initiative by the Artists Guild of Manatee in the Village of the Arts to provide community outreach to students and teachers. The student are will be on display in the Community Shrine Zone.

Shrines and Altars throughout the Village

In addition to the community shrine, individual businesses and residents throughout the Village of the Arts will create and display their own shrines at their homes, galleries, studios, shops, healing arts centers, restaurants and businesses.

Live Music

The following galleries and businesses will host live music at the time indicated.

#17 Birdrock Taco Shack

Friday, 8pm-midnight
The Divebombers (opening)
The Red Elvises (headlining)

Saturday, 3-6pm
The Jason Haram Group

#22 The Dancing Crane Gallery

Friday, 6-8pm
SCF Jazz Band

#49 Art Junkies

Friday, 7pm
Koko Ray

#55 Jerk Dog Records

Friday, 7pm
Ugly Couple
Reservoir Dawgs

#87 Firestone Gallery
Friday, 6-9pm
Jerry Shell

#100 Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery

Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
The Brothers Gabriel


#100 Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery
Village-wide scavenger hunt starts and ends at Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery. Visitors who complete the scavenger hunt are entered into a raffle drawing for prizes.

#70 Mystic Mines Gemstone Mining
Mine for gems at VOTA's gemstone mining attraction!! Pay with cash and save $5 off medium and large buckets.

Special Art Exhibits and Shrines

#6 Joan Peters Gallery
Shrine to lost artists souls, including Dali, Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Khalo, and Jean Michel Basquiat plus Day of the Dead artwork for sale.

#16 Village Voices
Face painting on Friday from 5-8pm, shrine dedicated to personal friends and family, sale on apothecary cabinet items and selected books.

#22 The Dancing Crane Gallery
Group artist show inside the gallery. Dave Scagg’s magical sculpture pieces will be on display in the back garden. And Jane King’s creative, unique pieces from repurposed computer boards will be featured in the Little Garden Gallery.

#33 Village Veranda
The Village Veranda will host Fluidwerx, a special exhibit featuring the art of Nate Sabin.

#34 Left of Center Gallery
See the contemporary works of Randy Blahna in one of VOTA's oldest galleries, now celebrating 16 years in the Village!

#49 Art Junkies
Find original works by Mark Burrow plus a variety of other local vendors and artists on the Art Junkies festival grounds. Vendors include: Myakka's Gold Apiary, Driftheory Art inspired by Nature, Corinna's Kefi, Playin' with Dead Things, Karma T's, I Made It Jewelry & Clay Creations and Frumple Factory and Originals by Liz.

#54 The Baobab Tree Gallery and Studio
Authentic Day of the Dead works from artists in Oaxaco, Mexico.

Former Arts & Eats Restaurant
Donna Slawsky will be back with a collection of her mosaic works on Friday evening.

#56 Divine Excess Folk Art Gallery
Shrine dedicated to Frida Kahlo with life-size Frida Kahlo skeleton; Day of the Dead art pieces by gallery artists, Liz D' Aste, Natty Moss Bond,  Hugo Pacarro, Cheryl Kinderknecht, Mr Eddie, and Zoe Von Averkamp; gourmet Mexican snacks and old style Mexican music.

#66 Fun Girl Art
Works by Jean G. Farmer including her most recent bottle cap mosaic titled "Lori's Hibiscus". Photography by Caroline Rogers.

#70 The Village Mystic
Save on crystals during a sidewalk sale. Facepainting for the young and young at heart.  Plus let Shannon and Heather adorn your head with sparkly silk fairy hair. Call the store to reserve your time. (941) 744-2424

#78 Sally's Studio
Works by Sally Anderson Cosgrove.

#82 Trzy Studios
New works by Mark Sparkman and Ed Kosiewicz. Nail art by Martha Santana.

#87 Firestone Gallery
Special exhibit and shrine honoring Frida Kahlo.

#89 ReWorked Creations
Reuse art gallery featuring the works of Ruth Warren, Lee Stadler, Steve Hafliger, Richard Lamson, Eric Preble, Gayle Oreto, Beth Palmer, Mark MItchell, Keenan Perren and Maxine Lang.

#100 Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery
Custom essential oil blends by Monark by the Bay, guest artist Evan Gatscher and Surgem Creations by Laura Smith.

#160 The Dude and Mary's Art of Life and Music
Works by Mary Fragapane

#184 Photography by Skip Nall
New works by Skip Nall.

#190 One One Eleven Arts
Shrine dedicated to The Great Horismoku also known as Sailor Jerry, the grandfather of American traditional tattooing. Discounts will be offered on his tattoo flash designs.


Street parking is available throughout the Village of the Arts and is indicated on the festival map which can be downloaded here.  (Note: there are usually more street parking spaces available in the south side of the Village during events, south of 13th Ave.) A public parking garage is also available north of the Village at the intersection of 12th Street W and 8th Avenue W.


The 2019 Festival of the Skeletons is sponsored by the Artists Guild of Manatee.  The artwork used for this year’s Festival of the Skeletons was created by Raw Burt, owner of One One Eleven Arts in the Village of the Arts.


Start Time

Friday November 1st 2019 @6:00 PM

End Time

Saturday November 2nd 2019 @4:00 PM