Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day of the Dead is theme for season's last Art Walk

(Originally published in the 10/8/15 edition)

   The Mexican holiday known as Dia de los Muertos- or Day of the Dead- is traditionally celebrated Nov. 1, but it will be coming to Benicia several days earlier as part of the city’s Art Walk series.
   Benicia’s Art Walk was launched in 2012 as a grassroots movement spearheaded by local artists. The event recently started being run by the city and partnered with Arts Benicia for the first time this year, Art Walk Coordinator Judi Morales Gibson said. Past event themes have included the works of Arsenal artists, glassblowing and steampunk.
   This event’s theme will be Day of the Dead. The holiday, in which family and friends gather to remember those who have died, is typically celebrated after Halloween. However, since this will be the last Art Walk event of the season, Gibson felt it was best to get a jumpstart on Day of the Dead.
   “We wanted to do something that was cultural and would appeal to families,” she said. “We’re going to go out with a bang.”
   The event will feature lots of activities that will appeal to kids, including face painting, mask-making and paper flower-making. They will even be able to meet Frida Kahlo model Flor de Azalea Magallnes.
   There will also be plenty of artwork. From 2 to 7 p.m. at Avant Garden on First Street, visitors can see jewelry made by Cheri Mendieta, original drawings by Corey Johnson and upcycled steampunk clothing by Cinder Garden Steampunk. At the same time, Treasury Commons will be featuring Mexican folklore art by Adela Juarez and hair accessories and jewelry from Siren Sticks in Vallejo. Finally, from 4 to 6 p.m. the Plein Air Gallery will be hosting a reception for award-winning  local artist Rolando Barrero. Barrera will be promoting his latest exhibition “Street Scenes and Sketches in Watercolor” in which he shows off watercolors of his travels in America and overseas.
   Gibson says she’s received good responses from people and is impressed with the Day of the Dead artwork’s cultural roots.
   “It’s so rich and authentic and very colorful,” she said.
   Gibson encourages people to come check out the variety of artwork.
   “We’re trying to support local artists and craftspeople,” she said. “We want to be able to offer two-dimensional paintings. We want to be able to offer other types of artwork and crafts.”
   The Benicia Art Walk will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday along First Street. The event is free and open to the public.


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