In its fourth annual celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the Sonoma Community Center will present dual art installations on themes of life, loss and remembrance beginning Friday, Nov. 1, at 5 p.m.

The art installations build on the butterfly motif that has been central to the center’s Dia de los Muertos festivities, including the “Calaveras y Mariposas” blacklight installation in the Backstage Theater.

“Butterflies symbolize the cycle of life, death and rebirth of the human soul for many cultures throughout the world,” said Special Projects Manager Margaret Hatcher. “Monarch butterflies migrate every year to the forests of central Mexico arriving around Nov. 1. People throughout the region see these butterflies as the returning souls of the deceased.”

The family-friendly exhibit “The Mighty Monarch” will open Friday, Nov. 1, at 5 p.m. with a reception in the center’s arts education gallery. Butterflies will cascade into the entrance of the community center and inhabit a visually vibrant environment created within the gallery.

More than 100 paper butterflies created by Sonoma school children will enliven the room.

Students from the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Girl Scout Troop #10063, the WillMar Family Grief and Healing Center, Woodland Star Charter School and Crescent Montessori School participated in arts education workshops offered by the community center and contributed works to the exhibit. The workshops were made possible by funding from the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation.

Hands-on art making activities will be available for families and children attending the opening of exhibition Friday, Nov. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will also be offered, including dulce de calabaza desserts donated by Whole Foods Market and organic juice from grapes grown at the community center.

“The Mighty Monarch” exhibit will be on view from Nov. 1 to 22 on Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the center’s Gallery 212.

Also on Nov. 1, at 7 p.m., the dramatic lighting of the center’s community altar will take place in its Maloney Waterwise Demonstration Garden. The 12-foot towering art installation, designed and created by sculptor Jim Callahan, will be decorated in tribute to those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions large and small to life in Sonoma Valley.

The center invites the public to contribute to the altar photos and paper butterflies in remembrance of friends and relatives lost. The altar will be on display in front of SCC though Nov. 4.

For more information about the Dia de los Muertos art installations at Sonoma Community Center, call 938-4626, ext. 1.

The Sonoma Community Center is located at 276 E. Napa St.