Monday, August 12, 2013

Day of the Dead exhibit and altars in Pasadena Sept. 28-Nov. 3

217 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105

September 28 - November 3, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 5, 2 – 6 PM
 This year The Folk Tree celebrates the 30th anniversary of its annual Day of the Dead Altars & Ephemera exhibition, on view from September 28 - November 3, 2013.  The installation features traditional altars honoring loved ones who have passed, as well as installations dealing with broader contemporary issues and concepts about death. Also on view is a large selection of work in various media by local artists and Mexican folk art commemorating this major Mexican holiday, which falls on November 1 and 2. The public is invited to a reception onSaturday, October 5 from 2 - 6 P.M.
Ritualized worship of the dead has been practiced in Mexico since at least 1800 B.C. The modern observance is a combination of pre-Hispanic and Catholic influences. Day of the Dead participants prepare elaborate feasts and altars as offerings. A celebration of life and its aftermath, the holiday is a time of reflection and has inspired a rich folk art tradition.
Altars on view are often highly personal and include photographs and other mementos, letters, candles and offerings of food. This year The Folk Tree presents altars devoted to James Dean (by Matt DeHaven), traditional Finnish beliefs regarding ancestors and spirit worship (by Ulla Anobile), rescue dogs (by Johanna Hansen), Jenni Rivera (by Teresa Gonzalez), and beloved pets (by Victor Solis), among others.  The Folk Tree’s exhibit would not be complete without Nancy Ann Jones’ community altar.  This artist has contributed this interactive altar every year since the exhibit’s inception.  Visitors are invited to write messages to their deceased loved ones, tie them to sticks and place them in a bed of sand.  At the close of the show, Jones burns them in a ritual fire, delivering them to the departed spirits.
Related work in a variety of media is on view by over 50 area artists, and featured work from Mexico includes pieces by Mexico City paper mache artist Joel Garcia and ceramic figures from Capula, which are hand built, painted, and glazed.  Among the local artists represented are Joe Alvarez (paintings/prints), Cathy Ashworth (painting/mixed media), Nelda Costner (photography), Jesus Cruz (woodcuts), Sarah Hage (paper mache), Carlos Gutierrez, Rone Prinz and Amy Sweetman (jewelry).
Mexican folk art objects created for the Day of the Dead are sold in the streets throughout Mexico in the weeks preceding the holiday. Many examples of these items are available at The Folk Tree. They are often made of clay, paper maché, tin and sugar. Those forms most commonly found are skeletons and skulls, often decorated to include a person's name.
A time of celebration and contemplation, the appeal of the Day of the Dead holiday has widely spread outside its origins in Mexico. For its 30th consecutive year, The Folk Tree is pleased to participate in the observance of this rich tradition.

The Folk Tree is located at 217 South Fair Oaks Avenue (just fifteen minutes from downtown Los Angeles, off the end of the 110 freeway and minutes walking distance from the Del Mar Gold Line Station).  Hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5.  For more information, contact Gail Mishkin at 626/793-4828 or call The Folk Tree at 626/795-8733.

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