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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day of the Dead Altar II

This Requires Some Shopping.

Sketch of Proposed Altar

Though I inventory loads of STUFF in my studio, the creation of an altar for Day of the Dead at the Palm Springs Art Museum requires some shopping.  After visualizing and sketching the design it was apparent I needed to make forays into the land of retail. Some of my ideas call for items I just don't keep around, and restrictions required by the museum dictate dried and imitation materials which mean: Retail therapy time!!!

First,  for some on line sourcing of snake skins, because baskets woven by Arenas frequently incorporated snake designs. You remember I am creating an altar to honor and bring homage to Guadalupe Arenas, member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians who was a basket weaver.

Though this altar will not be typical, it will have skulls which were purchased on line. 

This retail shopping was frequently spontaneous, purchases made on a whim.  I felt like I was being guided, allowing unexpected items to catch my attention and find their place in the shopping cart.  Amazing that I found this bird skeleton to represent the eagle theme found on baskets woven by Guadalupe Arenas.

Second stop....several shops for basket and floral needs. This altar should have plant materials that represent the plants collected and used in the basket weaving process, and I was able to find fabulous paper, dried and imitation floral goods in the desired palette.

An unplanned stop yielded two stately candelabra.

Then back to the computer for frames and photos of women who lived in the Coachella Valley during the late 1800's - mid 1900's, basket weavers.  Oh, these beautiful faces.

Next I begin to assemble the altar in my studio so it can be fine tuned remembering to follow my desire to create, not only an altar to Guadalupe Arenas and her fellow basket weavers but a work of art following ideas of composition, line, texture, color.   Check back to see the progress.

Mark your calendars for the Day of the Dead celebration at the Palm Springs Art Museum on October 30,  10:00 - 4:00.

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