Upcoming Lucas Museum Program Looks at Tarot and Lotería Cards through the Lens of Narrative Art, Oct. 18

Free evening program featuring artmaking, panel discussions, DJ, food trucks, cash bar, and more takes place in Exposition Park

  • Artworks by Alphonse Mucha from the Lucas Museum collections: Four Seasons - Spring - #1 of 4, c. 1896; Allegorie de la musique, c. 1898; La Plume, c. 1899

LOS ANGELES—On Friday, Oct. 18, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a new museum under construction in Exposition Park, presents Lucas Nights: The Art of the Card—Tarot and Lotería, an engaging evening exploring the classic card decks, which use imagery to communicate narratives about the human experience. Featuring tarot and Lotería card making, conversations with experts on the history of imagery used in these decks, live tarot readings and Lotería games, raffles, a DJ, food trucks, and a cash bar, this free program will offer many avenues for guests ages 21 and up to explore tarot and Lotería through the lens of narrative art.

“Our museum is dedicated to visual storytelling, and the imagery of tarot and Lotería is closely related to artworks in our collections,” said Erin M. Curtis, curator at the Lucas Museum. “Both tarot and Lotería cards were mass produced for broad audiences and have communicated powerful visual narratives across time.”

The imagery used in tarot and Lotería cards often incorporates media that are represented in depth throughout the Lucas Museum’s collections, including graphic and comic art, woodcuts, and illustration. Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, represented by more than 60 original works in the collections, created illustrations for posters and advertisements that have been adapted for tarot cards, including the popular Tarot Mucha deck.

“In the years before the museum opens to the public, we are using our public programming to highlight the ways narrative art shows up in our lives,” said Elizabeth Escamilla, director of education at the Lucas Museum. “Tarot and Lotería cards might not be the first things that come to mind when thinking of narrative art, but using both card decks is a practice in reading, understanding, and communicating visual narratives.”

In tarot, a reader interprets imagery on the cards to create narratives to illuminate a person’s past, present, and future and guide their decision making. In the Bingo-like game of Lotería, rather than name a card, the announcer often uses riddles or clever poems to describe it. For example, the El Sol (the sun) card might be announced by the caller as “La cobija de los pobres” (the roof of the poor). The similarities in tarot and Lotería may stem from their shared origination in 15th-century Italy, with Lotería making its way to Mexico via Spain in the late 1700s. Each may have changed over time and cultures, but the images persist and retain their compelling narratives.

On Friday, Oct. 18, participants of all skill levels will be able to create their own visual narratives on blank tarot and Lotería cards, watch live onstage tarot readings, sign up for free private readings, play Lotería for extra chances to enter a raffle for giveaways from Exposition Park partners, and listen to a live dublab DJ. Additionally, guests will be able to learn about the history of tarot and Lotería imagery through a panel conversation with Lucas Museum curator Erin M. Curtis, writer and scholar Gloria Arjona, and artist and tarot reader Marcella Kroll. Food trucks and a cash bar will be available throughout the night. This event will be held under the stars on Exposition Park’s South Lawn, just south of the Natural History Museum and just east of the Lucas Museum’s construction site. This event is free and 21+.

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About the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Founded by philanthropist and filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President and of Ariel Investments, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will inspire current and future generations through the universal art of visual storytelling. The museum will present permanent collection and rotating exhibitions for diverse public audiences which will feature illustrations, paintings, comic art, photography, and an in-depth exploration of the arts of filmmaking (including storyboards, costumes, animation, visual effects, and more). Extensive education programming designed for all ages will explore innovative ways for visitors to engage with narrative art. Designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects and under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, the museum will feature new public green space, state-of-the-art cinematic theaters, a research library, numerous spaces for onsite education, restaurants, retail, and event spaces.