Over the past three years, Por Vida has evolved into one of the most morbidly fabulous costume parties of the Halloween season, full of elaborately painted skull faces echoing the aesthetic that's an integral part of the event's inspiration, Mexico's Day of the Dead holiday.

Over the past three years, Por Vida has evolved into one of the most morbidly fabulous costume parties of the Halloween season, full of elaborately painted skull faces echoing the aesthetic that's an integral part of the event's inspiration, Mexico's Day of the Dead holiday.

Within the revelry, however, is something that stays true to its guiding spirit: The juried art event is a celebration of the lives of loved ones who've passed.

According to Por Vida founder Kat Marie Moya, "I've heard consistently that for artists, this is their favorite show to contribute to, because it makes them think about things that can be uncomfortable."

This year, 20 artists have taken the challenge. Their work will be accompanied by music, food, limited-edition merchandise and an afternoon's worth of all-ages activities. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local hospice.

Moya will offer two delicate assemblages under glass that feature jewelry and fabric from her grandmother and the skull of a sparrow she tried to nurse in her backyard rose garden.

Dan Gerdeman is creating a devotional altar for a close friend, late CD101 program director Andy Davis. Fittingly, the piece will double as a DJ booth, with DJ Captain Lonesome spinning vintage soul tracks.

For painter Kelly Henninger, Por Vida isn't just a favorite place to submit. It's the only place where you can see her fine art, short of a tour of her space at Junctionview Studios.

"I've only shown at Por Vida, because I think my work fits really well with the event," Henninger said.

A trained artist who works as a sign painter for Trader Joe's, Henninger started painting for herself a few years ago to deal with the loss of her brother in an alcohol-related incident.

Building on the backdrop murals and smaller works she's shown at past Por Vidas, Henninger this year presents one of the largest paintings, a portrait of a toy elephant with loose stuffing and autopsy-like scars. The pattern on the wallpaper behind it mimics the CT scans taken of her brother before his death.

As Henninger explained, it's something of a self-portrait.

"Unfortunately, it reflects what I'm going through, but it's a way to be productive and positive. Things pop up and snowball, and you can either ignore them, or pick them up and run with them."