Monday, November 22, 2010

Arte en CASA - an art show

We have both been taking art classes weekly with maestra Liliana Zuppini. This is different for both of us as neither of us were doing painting in our past art experiences. Richard normally did b/w drawings of the nude or sculpture and I did collage and fabric art.
Here you can see Richard's three pieces - Llorona (crying woman); Amigos - which one is pulling which??; and a man with a flute and spirit coming from the fire.

This was an art show of all Liliana's students and here we all are at the opening of the show. It was a fundraiser for another worthwhile organization - CASA and I sold a piece and made a donation to the organization. (Thanks Marion!)
My pieces are - Inside the Instituto Allende with butterflies - my attempt at perspective and detailed architecture; Los colores - photographs and words with mexican designs painted in the orange and green piece. Lower left is cut paper and paint - Guanajuato which is a town near us; and lower right is Circulos (circles) of buttons, paint and other found objects.

November 2010 - "Dia de los Muertos" and visitors from NC

This month began with one of the most important holidays of the year - Dia de las Muertos or "Day of the Dead". We knew from last year about most of the activities and it never ceases to amaze us at how the Mexicans celebrate death. It makes so much sense to me to honor and embrace this part of life rather than to fear it and here they certainly do celebrate. There are parades and beautiful alters everywhere. This second picture is an example of the displays that are made on the ground of sand, beans, sticks, etc - sort of like a mandela as they are made for just the few days - Nov 1 and 2nd. There are gatherings in all the graveyards where people spend time with their loved ones who have passed on. The marigolds are placed on all alters and their scent is a reminder of death and helps to guide the spirits of those who have passed on back to this life.

We had special visitors during this week - Marion, Bob and Carolyn from Chapel Hill and it was great to share this special experience with them. We enjoyed a party at "our house" (Kathie's at that time) to have our local friends meet some of our NC friends. Here is a picture of the alter that I made for our house which was specifically for Erwin and Kurt - our two family members that have passed on during this year. I found a little pizza box, and a peace dove for Kurt to enjoy and a kitty cat, sandwich, pretzel and beer for Erwin. The four candles light the way and the glass of water is there to quench their thirst after their long travel from the other world. May we all remember our loved ones forever. Here is something humorous to me that would not "fly" in the US. There was an add in our local english speaking newspaper for a special "Day of the Dead" Hospice celebration! I know it is hard to explain or experience the different cultures when you are all sitting home in the US and may find this all weird but you would have to be here to understand that it is all a beautiful time for everyone.
Our friends are all Unitarian Universalists from our church back home in NC so we were happy to take them to the only UU church in Mexico - right here in SMA. Our usual Sunday morning activities include breakfast with all our friends and then to church sometimes, or as in this past weekend - a hike in the canyon.

Here is a picture at my spanish school. I was taking a course called "Telenovela of Carolina" or "Soap Opera of Carolina" and here I am as Carolina with my new boyfriend! We took turn playing the various parts and of course it was all in spanish so a fun way to practice speaking out loud and learning about the culture with a little grammar thrown in.

Here is the gang from Chapel Hill. It was great having visitors and we are looking forward to our December with many visitors of the family thoroughout the whole month. We have rented a big house and will fill it up most of the weeks. This will be our first Christmas/New Year in Mexico and so this time will be special for all as we celebrate their holiday in surely a different manner then in the US. More on that next month!

Here Marion and I are at the afterschool program that I go to every week - Ojala-kids and Marion was kind enough to teach these kids origami. She brought paper for them all and they seemed to love this new project that they had never seen before. We take so much for granted in the US that everyone sees and knows the same things but these kids are very isolated out in the country with very little and had never seen origami before. - Thanks Marion!

As we are coming up to Thanksgiving I would like to wish you all a happy day and I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to live here in Mexico this year and to experience so much new and different in my life. I am grateful for my wonderful Ricardo to share this with and to all of you reading this who are part of my big family. My heart is filled with love.