MY WORK in the SUNLIGHT
MY WORK in the SUNLIGHT
DULCE at the FIESTA
LAS NINAS AZTECAS
Yesterday, I set up shop outside the gallery Autobody Fine Art on the island of Alameda, California. What an incredibly sunny day with clear blue skies. I'm a native Californian but I was astounded by the weather. Our group of "muerte" vendors were recruited to sell to the locals. It appeared that Dia de los Muertos had not previously come to the ISLA but the Isla locals were ready for our artwork. It was a very family friendly group attending Isla de los Muertos with a fusion of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos taking place. I'm a Chicana after all - born in the U.S. with parents born in the U.S. and grandparents and great-grandparents from Mexico - and my traditions are a blend of both countries. The gallery upstairs was filled with exceptional muertos artwork from many local artists. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy George who organized the event. She is a fabulously positive woman who expressed a deep understanding of the tradition of Dia de los Muertos and an equally strong desire to bring it to the community of Alameda. Along with Amy, I met the artist Sal who signs his work with the name El Chamuco, the devil, if my Spanish or Spanglish is correct. This guy is anything but. A tattoo artists by trade, Sal began painting just two years ago. He is unbelievably talented. He is also very concerned about his own Chicano community of young men. Sal expressed to me his concerns for young Chicanos who live misdirected, misguided lives. Too many times he said, they look up to the wrong people: drug dealers, gang leaders. He stated these young men need to instead look to their ancestors: their grandfathers, uncles, community members who have worked hard to make the lives of future generations easier. Well, after that, he didn't have to say much more to me. I was calling him primo, cousin after that. If I had ever wanted a younger brother or a very cool younger cousin, well he was it. Sal is in the right space, saying the types of things that need to be said to young latinos in our communities. He's an inspiration.
While it was great to make some money yesterday and introduce folks to the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, I felt the real gift was meeting Amy and Sal. Their positive energy and abundance of good will made me happy be a part of Isla de los Muertos.