Saturday was finally the day! Nearly a year ago on a cold winter's day I was walking indoors with my friend Sarah. We would often meet to walk when our kids were at preschool. We got to talking about projects and how I have so many things going on and...perhaps I am wrong here, but it seemed like she was interested in working on something. I suggested a Day of the Dead event. She has an MA in Spanish and I have an MA in art history. Seemed like a great way to blend our interests and bring something of value to our community. From there things escalated quickly.
Then on Saturday all of our meetings and plannings and projects culminated in a successful community celebration. For those of you who are not familiar with Dia de Los Muertos it is, in simple terms, an extension of the Christian holiday All Soul's Day. The holiday celebrates and remembers the departed. I highly recommend that you do a little research and learn more about this beautiful tradition.
Our event had three major components: art, education, dance.
Here with Sarah (my partner) 15 minutes before the start of the event and it was already busy!
The community ofrenda, people contributed personal items and/or used the skulls I had made, wrote the names of their deceased loved ones as a remembrance. We also had slips of paper for those who wanted to remember many.
Here I am.
A display of the work of my art students.
Eric and me
A non-traditional altar by artists Mike and Amber Olson.
A beautiful Frida altar by Marilyn Lindsay and on the left is a painting by my good friend, artist Heather Wilder.
A glimpse of a Diego Rivera altar contributed by one of the local high schools.
Another Frida altar contributed by students from one of the local high schools.
A stunning altar by artist Linda Ryan
Some more art!
Elise, having her arm painted.
Cordelia had her face painted, but she was unimpressed as she knows what a more traditional face-painting is and I ended up adding some more in the bathroom. Every other child was perfectly happy with their faces being painted in a less traditional manner. Problems of children of artists/art historians.
Dancers prepping for the flash mob.
Sarah introduced our lector Eric Atkins as a huge crowd listened.
All of these people left knowing a bit more about this amazing celebration!
A crowd gathers to watch dancers from the college.
When it was all said and done we were so far beyond pleased! We would have been happy with 50 people in attendance, but there were hundreds! We received more thanks that I can count and offers for help with the next celebration in November 2016. What a success and such a gift to be able to share a beautiful cultural tradition with my community.