Spirit for life
Brave Carmel artist makes art with others’ hands.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Almost everything changed for Kay Villalobos in 1997. The successful artist, designer and manufacturer whose MeeceMouse brand of children’s accessories was sold nationwide, was in an automobile accident that left her paralyzed from the head down.
But not everything changed. She continued to make art—now through the hands of her caregivers, whom she directs to cut, glue and place elements she chooses in elaborate works that represent, primarily, the indomitable spirit of Latina women.
Her resilience is the reason the windows and rooms of Hanson Gallery in Carmel look quite different from their usual display of paintings, prints and bronzes. From now until Nov. 5 the gallery has been dedicated to El Dia de Los Muertos, with complex assemblages of altars, collages, crosses, chairs and dressmaker dummies created by Villalobos filling the space. The work interprets the Mexican holiday and symbolizes the unquenchable spirit of an artist that survived a trauma that would have vanquished a more timorous soul.
“I think you are who you are always,” Villalobos says. “You learn to deal with the challenges. It never, never, never occurred to me to stop making art, to let it go because it was too hard. If you love something enough, you can find a way to keep doing it.”
El Dia de los Muertos exhibition continues through Nov. 5 at Hanson Gallery, Ocean Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores, Carmel. A reception takes place 1-4pm Oct. 28. 625-6142.