Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day of the Dead at Latino Arts and Walker’s Point

As promised, I recently visited the exhibit of ofrendas at the Latino Arts Gallery in the United Community Center. Then I also visited a very similar exhibit at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA). Although Halloween is today, the exhibits continue. I recommend them both for their devotion to the theme and the diversity of their installations.

Unfortunately, I missed the parade. But, here is my Halloween and Dia de los Muertos postcard/album from my visits. The descriptions are excerpted from exhibition text panels.

At the Latino Arts Gallery:

“Al pie de la tumba” by Emiliano Lake-Herrera

“This is a visual anthem to the intense nostalgia one experiences with the loss of a loved one.”

"La santa muerte" by Jose Chavez.
For some in Mexico the angel of death is sent by God to take you to Him. Considered a cult, la santa muerte is not sanctioned by the church, but is very much a part of Mexican lore.

Untitled mixed media painting by Luis de la Torre

Luis says he grew up Mexican in the U.S. and his work reveals “two cultures, two histories, and two distinct worlds fused together into a single enigmatic hallucination.”

 “Remember Aztecs” by students at Bruce Guadalupe Elementary School

 “Fronteras/Borders” by Ximena Soza

“Many cross the borders of the world. For some this is a nice dream; for others it is a nightmare.”

At the Walker's Point Center for the Arts:

 Although I missed the parade, I did get to hear these attractive skeletons play a lively tune, along with other performances, for the opening at WPCA. 

 Rosario Cabrera: the first female Mexican painter

Ofrenda dedicated to Cabrera made by the after-school Hands-On class at WPCA.

 Ximena Soza and Christian Munoz

Ofrenda “dedicated to the Chilean miners that for generations have opened the womb of the earth, to those who never left the mine and lived between the dirt and the metal until they died...” and “to the 33 miners who lived in the depth of the Atacama desert for 70 days and were able to be reborn…” and “to their children and grandchildren, so that they don’t have to die in any other mine to remind us that human dignity is worth more than…any metal.”

 Jose Chavez

This detail of Jose’s marvelous installation in the WPCA storefront resonated with me for what I hope is an obvious reason!

“Grandmother’s Kitchen” by Lisa Formanek and Dara Larson

“…Dedicated to the memory and importance of …the grandmother as nurturer, teacher, and keeper of family recipes….” This elaborate and intricate altar was also meant to be interactive. Visitors were invited to enter their own grandmothers’ special recipes into a handmade book. I did.

I offer these photos to provide a taste of the significance and beauty of these installations. But the images don’t do them justice. I hope you will visit and enjoy them in person.

The Day of the Dead continues through Nov. 19 at Latino Arts
and through Nov. 23 at Walker's Point Center for the Arts.
And don't forget, it also runs through Dec. 13 at the National Museum of Mexican Arts. To see my previous post about that excellent exhibit click here.

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