I’ve had a few requests for more travel journal pages, so here ya go. In October I went to Oaxaca, Mexico with 20 other artists for Michael deMeng’s wonderful and amazing Day of the Dead – El Dia de los Muertos – workshop. He will be heading back down way south of border in October 2008 for another workshop and mescal laced good time. He just posted the 2008 itinerary and you can read all about it here. Michael is an incredible artist and a very funny and generous teacher. The conference center at the hotel became an energized art studio for 3 1/2 days, overflowing with incredible creations from found (and purchased) objects we gathered walking the streets of Oaxaca. It’s a beautiful place and Day of the Dead is a celebration for all the senses. It’s hard to describe in words how truly amazing this place really is, if you’d like to see my photos from the trip you can go to my Smugmug site here.
I kept a travel journal while I was there, mostly to remember all the things we did. Besides the workshop we had great field trips to see ancient archeological sites, country markets, working artists studios making traditional pottery, wood carving and weaving, and several cemeteries preparing for, and celebrating the Day of the Dead. And then there were the hours we spent wandering this beautiful old city and hanging out at the zocalo. There was a lot to remember.
We had the chance to see Lila Downs while we were there, an amazing singer/songwriter.
We learned about, and then made our own, ofrenda in our hotel “studio.” It’s an alter made to honor the returning souls for Day of the Dead. This is a post card, but it’s very much like the one we made.
Our wonderful guide, Juan, talked to us about what is traditionally included in making an ofrenda.
Our Lady of Soledad is the patron saint of Oaxaca and you see her beautiful countenance everywhere.
More Day of the Dead in late October when I’ll break out the sugar skull molds and make an ofrenda in the entry way of my house. Via con dios!