Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos at Maude Kerns - a Celebration

It was a dark night at Maude Kerns Gallery for the opening.

The night was the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos.

"The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died."

"The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on November 2nd. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl."

The alters and art decorated the walls...

... and were wonderful creations.

I remember the dancers from last year who provide the gallery visitors with a great show of traditional dance from adults...

... to young children.

There were many skeletons and ghosts in the crafts made to celebrate those loved ones who were remembered.

I still remember All Souls Day from when I was in Catholic school as just another extra day out of school as a nice thing about all the Catholic holidays - no school!

After visiting the alters it was time for the dance...

...and it was announced with the blowing of a shell and applause.

Karen Pavelec Came to the stage to announce the dancers and welcome those who came to the event.

One of the young dancers cheered.

I thought it looked a lot like the woman in the painting was resting her head on this man's shoulder.

The audience formed a circle around the perimeter...

... we had one more announcement from one of the dance group...

... and the dancers took the floor like graceful angels.

The costumes and traditional dance was wonderful to watch.

The attendees were also interesting ...

... and I'm sure their smiles and appreciation spurred the dancers on to greater heights.

The thing I like about the dance is how the camera catches the flair of the skirts as material crackles as it is shaped by the dancers moves.

The smiles of these dancers really expresses the love of dance and the performance.

The children were a rainbow of colors...

... dancing like rows of flowers in a wind.

Then an older group returned with a flip of a skirt...

... and a wonderful smile the fabric flashed and fluttered.

There is a real beauty in dance and it is in the heart and soul of the dancers...

... and it's only in the still images we can see complexity of motion.

Like a blur frozen you see the shape of infinity.

In the gestures we can see the reality of life...

... the flirting and interaction...

... and you are drawn into the festival.

For the young women it's that tradition instills pride of heritage and custom.

To the audience it's performance to appreciate and enjoy.

To the children it's playing at life ...

... and dressing up ...

,,, or wondering why we have to dance ...

... or just being funny trying to hide how nervous we all are at times.

For me it's a time to by chance capture a piece of art in the milieu of an evening with my camera in tow and my mind wide open.

No scrabble

Quote of the Day ~
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." ~ Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Highwayman as a photographer in Eugene

I listened to "The Highwaymen singing The Highwayman" tonight. Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash shine in this Jimmy Web song.

I had driven Isaac to his car in Downtown Eugene

I also took a few pictures from the top floor of the parking garage.
Just pictures no narrative. (Yawn)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Art for the Soul

I have a blog called Art for the Soul and yet today I saw an awesome example of why the arts are more than dabs of oil, acrylic, watercolor on canvas, art paper, wood or any flat surface. The Plein Air Painters of Springfield/Eugene and a few other communities in the area came together to help draw and draw attention of a Creswell community project called "Save the Schoolhouse."

This is the schoolhouse some of us in Creswell are trying to save.

The schoolhouse is the oldest building in Creswell and was built in 1872. Across 2nd street is the newest business in Creswell and it's Heidi Tunnell Catering that opened as the painters were leaving for the day.

Both "The Creswell Chronicle" and Eugene's "Register Guard" came so I am hoping for a good story in both for the Schoolhouse project and especially for the artists that came for the paintout today. ~Update Rebecca Wollington of the Register Guard wrote a great story published today (Thursday October 8) about the paintout - Thanks Rebecca for your diligence in gathering the information, great story. [Click here for the link]

The painters are all really interesting, talented and extremely active. Perhaps the the most active today was Jacki Lukowski. After she had finished she walked around talking with and encouraging the other artists.

One of my all-time favorites is Sarkis Antikajian a good man who never hesitates to give his time teaching others.

The schoolhouse originally was two stories tall and after the fire that burned the second floor was repaired with only one floor.

The building was a library, school, meeting house and a church at one time or another.

I enjoyed watching all the artists work and the variety of styles .

Steve Cooley had a bold and bright style I really, really liked.

Ron Gillilian softer and beautifully stylized.

The artists are part of the Plein Air group that is defined by their painting on-site rather than in a studio. This is Ron in the foreground and Vern Wright closer to the building.

This is my friend Renee Manford who first introduced me to the Plein Air group.

On the porch in front of the door is a print of a Paul Bourgault who painted the building a few years ago and thay used as the logo for the civic group that used to meet here...

... and here is Paul painting again.

Steve Cooley is an award winning artist being interviewed by Helen Hollyer Owner and Editor of our great local weekly newspaper called "The Creswell Chronicle."

I was over on "D" street talking with Brooks Hickerson who scheduled the paintout in Creswell when a great old car drove by us. I quickly shot this picture with Paul and Jacki talking in front of the schoolhouse. I looked at this picture and realized the building is older that the age of the car by probably 50 to 60 years.

The paintings were all getting close to completion and Renee's was looking great.

My favorite picture today was this one of Victoria showing her painting and her great smile.

Then there is Bets Cole who, like Paul came all the way from Elmira for the paintout. Actually Bets came from Corvallis where she was painting there in the morning.

One of the painters, I think Shirley, came all the way from Creswell (that's a joke but it is the truth) had brought a basket of fresh veggies that looked so great I even photographed that.

Bets is what you call an independent woman who dances to the beat of a different drummer painting the schoolhouse from the rear of the building. I got a peek at the painting and it is very special.

Thanks for coming Bets,Victoria,

Steve, Ron, Shirley and Shirley,

Paul, Susan, Sarkis,

Vern , Renee, Jacki, anyone I may have missed (let me know and I'll correct my lack of reporting skills) ...

Picture courtesy of Hellen Hollyer "The Creswell Chronicle"

... especially Brooks Hickerson for the kindness and talents of the participants today. Oh! there will be a show of the art at the Creswell Library starting November 16 and staying on display until December 19.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 3 million and 2 - The Contender 104

Quote of the Day ~
"The effect of sincerity is to give one's work the character of a protest. The painter being concerned only with conveying his impression, simply seeks to be himself and no one else." ~ Claude Monet


©Paul Viel