Day Of The Dead

November 1, 2011 by staff 

Day Of The DeadDay Of The Dead, Each fall, the Pajaro Valley Arts Council and the gallery opens its doors to local artists and school groups to build? Dia De Los Muertos altars? commemorate their lost loved ones.

The title of the annual exhibition,? “My House Is Your House”? is very appropriate, especially since the gallery is a sudden Street home in Watsonville.

This year’s show has more than 25 altars.

“We encouraged the participants to interpret the construction of altars,” Lily said Mandel, managing director of PVAC.

Day of the Dead is a celebration in honor of Mexico loved ones who have died. November is traditionally falls 1-2 and may include shrines, monuments, grave cleaning and parties.

PVAC has invited community members to celebrate the tradition in the gallery since 1996.

The adaptation of the Latin celebration of culture, religion or life experience brings a wealth of creativity in small art gallery, an artist created an altar inspired by the Ching Ming Festival, a similar tradition in China, which honors dead relatives. Another story ties altar Mexico and Ireland.

E.A. Hall High School teacher Joanne Borbolla used the holiday as a catalyst for studies of its kind. First, your student read? “The beyond”? and created an altar for the main character, who was murdered. From there, they investigated and Day of the Dead altar to honor someone important in their lives.

“It was a fun project,” said Borbolla. “Many of them only knew a little what it was, but did not know the story.”

The student projects, each in a white shoe box, use traditional materials such as leaves, marigold and sugar skulls, the kids did.

Other altars in the presentation was based on a broader interpretation of the holiday. A group of young artists from around the county created a display of awesome street art accented by airbrush paint cans and skateboards.

Students in the SOS program through the County Office of Education an entire wall covered with photos of loved ones lost, in the center surrounded by faces of influential people who have died, and decorated with black backdrop sensitive in the light of paint to create a surreal glow around the screen.

Instructor Charmaine Ryan said she does the Day of the Dead project with their students each year. He also read Soto’s book and are using it to make a comparative study of religion and the afterlife, metaphors explore the concept of self-study.

“We’re trying to tie it all,” she said, while watching the screen with their students on a recent afternoon.

The students worked on the project for 3-4 weeks.

There is “a lot of stories intense, in fact, all of them,” Ryan said, gesturing at the altar and refers to lost loved ones to honor students in the project.

But the pictures around to add some levity, he said.

“It’s kind of fun when you have Mother Teresa and Tupac, but I like it,” Ryan said.

The exhibition runs until December 18. Admission is free.

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