Celebrating The Dead
Processions and exhibits in Watsonville and Salinas celebrate the Day of the Dead.
Thursday, October 29, 1998
Want to get in the real spirit of the Halloween celebration? You might want to check out two area art exhibits and celebrations, one at the Pajaro Valley Gallery and the other at the National Steinbeck Center.
Long before Halloween became a candy-coated holiday for kids--and a bacchanalia for adults--it was an important time of year. As the trees dropped their leaves, the harvest ripened and the plants remaining in the fields turned from green to gold. The earth wheeled through its cycle of seasonal death, and plants died and returned to the earth. It was an appropriate time to consider the mysteries of life and death, and to try to get in touch with those who had experienced the mystery first hand, and different cultures devised varying rituals and celebrations for the season.
The onslaught of Christianity forced changes in indigenous celebrations, but the vestiges of the seasonal celebrations still exist, particularly in South American countries, where D¡a de los Muertos on Nov. 1 honors ancestors.
At the Pajaro Valley Gallery in Watsonville, the annual >"Mi Casa es T£ Casa" exhibit opens with a procession and fiesta beginning at 6pm. Event organizers expect 200-300 participants in the procession that begins at the Watsonville Plaza and continues to the gallery.
At the gallery, an exhibit features the works of 30 local and Mexican artists, and three ofrendas (altars).
"One altar is dedicated to [Nobel Prize-winning writer] Octavio Paz and Tina Moddotti, who was an American photographer of Italian descent who moved to Mexico and photographed all these artists," says Graciela Vega, exhibit curator. "The second altar is dedicated to the Virgen de Guadalupe, and is a nativity scene. The third one is for women who have passed away from breast cancer. If people want to contribute something to someone who has passed on, they can do so."
At the National Steinbeck Center, a D¡a de Los Muertos procession begins at noon at Main and Alisal streets, and continues to the Steinbeck Center, where admission is free for Monterey County residents. Inside the center, there is an ofrenda dedicated to John Steinbeck and Octavio Paz, Gregorio Luke offers a slide presentation on muralist Diego Rivera at 1pm, and an hour-long video, titled La Ofrenda chronicles D¡a de los Muertos celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico. (See Hot Picks for more info.) cw
"Mi Casa es T£ Casa," Sunday, 6pm, Watsonville Plaza (on Main Street) and Pajaro Valley Gallery, 37 Sudden St., Watsonville. 722-3062. National Steinbeck Center, Sunday, noon. 796-3833.
Gray''s Art Gallery "Art in Memory Of..." Group exhibit of works commemorating "those who have come before" and the Day of the Dead. 1104 K Broadway Ave., Seaside. 394-2711. Reception: 11/1, 6pm. Through: 11/7.
Pacific Grove Art Center "Out of Residence," sculptural works by students of MPC instructor Gary Quinonez; sculptures by Doyle Foreman; "Mount Toro Suite," paintings by Johnny Apodaca. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Reception: 10/30, 7pm. Through: 11/27.
Thunderbird Bookstore "Annual Calligraphy Show." Seascribes, the Monterey Bay Calligraphy Guild, exhibits works by members. Barnyard Shopping Center, Highway 1 and Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. 624-1803. Reception: 10/29, 5pm. Through: 11/15.
Ansel Adams Gallery "Chip Hooper: Photographs." Black-and-white photographs that "capture and liberate the dynamic and subtle interplay of light and form in our natural world" by local photographer. RSVP by 11/3 for 11/7 reception. The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17 Mile Dr., Pebble Beach. 375-7215. Reception: 11/7, 5pm. Through: 12/15.
Big Sur Village Pub "Mask, Tiki and Mobile Show." Works by Gregory John Hubbard and Cheri Griffith. Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2355. Through: 11/7.
Carl Cherry Center "Shadows." Paintings and drawings by Anita Benson exploring random configurations in nature. 4th Avenue and Guadalupe Street, Carmel. 5pm. Through: 12/11.
Carmel Art Association "Watercolor: Four Views." Watercolors by Frieda Golding, Wilda Northrop, Alicia Meheen and William F. Stone, Jr. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 11/4.
Carmel Valley Manor "Photographs by Verna Johnston." Close-up photographs of animals, birds, forest scenes and flowers from around the world by Verna Johnston. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4711. Through: 10/30.
Carmel Valley Manor "Mixed Media." Works by residents of Carmel Valley Manor. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4711. Through: 11/30.
Center for Photographic Art "So That the Souls May Sing." Photographs and paintings by Jeffrey Becom celebrating the Day of the Dead. At the Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 9th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Through: 11/1.
"The Art of Big Sur." Works by local artists. Featured artists this weekend include Dave Egbert and Kate Healy. Call gallery for details. Village Shops (near the River Inn) Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2027. Through: 10/31.
Grove Homescapes "Botanical Images," fine art photography by Mary Wurtz; "Yellow Boat," paintings by Tory Raggett. 472 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 656-0864. Through: 10/31.
Henry Miller Library "Sculpture ''98." Sculptural works by 21 members of the Pacific Rim Sculptors Group. Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2574. Through: 11/5.
KAZU Community Room "Music Photography." Color photographs of jazz, rock and blues performers by Coast Weekly music columnist Beth Peerless. 167 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-7275. Through: 10/31.
Monterey Museum of Art "Juried All-Media Show." Works in many media by 95 artists from around the Monterey Bay. "Art From the Collectors'' Guild," paintings from private collections. "The Broken Road," art and poetry by Big Sur children created during the ''97-''98 winter. 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Through: 11/29.
Monterey Public Library "Metal Art in Action." Members of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild present a photo display depicting the creation of metal sculptures. 625 Pacific St., Monterey. 763-2506. Through: 10/31.
MPC Art Dept. Gallery "MetaLmorphosis." Metal art and prints by Monterey Peninsula College students and faculty. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 455-0635. Through: 10/30.
Mudzimu Gallery Sculptures by Gedion Nyanhongo, from Zimbabwe. 6th Avenue, between Lincoln and Dolores streets, Carmel. 626-2946. Through: 12/20.
Searle Art Supplies "Contrasting Images in an Artist''s Soul." Monoprints by Antonella Brughera. 639 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 373-0126. Through: 11/4.
Seaside City Hall Acrylic paintings by Juanita Anderson; ceramics by Kristine Safford. 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside. 899-6270. Through: 10/30.
Shallcross Gallery "Triad." Paintings by Sharon Kennedy, Claude Cirimele and Mira Kamada. 499 Calle Prinicipal (upstairs, inside the Galerie Monterey Building), Monterey. 655-0642. Through: 11/12.
Sun Quest Native Arts "To Life!" Sculptures, paintings and wearable bead art "celebrating the strength, beauty and sensuality of women" by Aweepano Viva David. Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-0224. Through: 11/15.
Valley Art Gallery "Jack''s Tribute to Art." Stasia Bevier presents a collection of watercolors by her late husband Jack Bevier. 218 Main St., Salinas. 422-4162. Reception: 11/6, 5:30pm. Through: 11/29.
Venture Art Gallery "Printmaking: Nostalgic Imagery." Monoprints by Lesley Anne Spowart. 260 Alvarado Mall, in the Doubletree Hotel, Monterey. 372-6279. Through: 10/30.
Vest Pocket Art Gallery "Hand-Crafted Creations." Crafts by Bobbie Marion and Barbara Radley. Forest Hill Manor, 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 657-5200. Reception: 11/6, 3pm. Through: 11/30.
Weston Gallery "At Home and Abroad." Color photographs by Cole Weston. 6th Avenue, between Dolores and Lincoln streets, Carmel. 624-4453. Through: 11/9.
Woman''s Wellspring Watercolor monotypes exploring "the visually meditative themes of dancers and webs" by Anne Downs. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 11/30.