Friday, November 01, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

Friends, Irene and Sandra at Day of the Dead Altar at Self-Help Graphics, Boyle Heights.  1978.  Photo from L.A. Public Library Collection

Dia de Los Muertos is upon us.  This holiday is celebrated October 31st, November 1st and 2nd throughout Mexico and in many other countries.  Traditionally, this is a celebration to honor and remember friends and family that have died.  Here is a description from Wikipedia of some of the customs:  Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Self-Help Graphics in Boyle Heights has been holding Dia de Los Muertos observances for over 40 years.  In the late 1970's I remember visiting the art show and hearing Los Lobos perform. I was probably there when Irene and Sandra (above) were at the show! I also remember during the early 90s, seeing the Lobos hanging around the building for this event.  I love that they are world-famous musicians and still honor their L.A. roots.  There are going to be more performances this Saturday night at Self-Help, along with altars, vendors, food. DJ's and  a traditional procession.  Read about the festivities here.  
Another wonderful Dia de Los Muertos celebration takes place at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  This can be a mob scene, but it's well-worth the price of admission just to see the incredible art work and the grounds of this historic place in Los Angeles.  
My friend, artist Tony de Carlo paints a few Dia de Los Muertos pieces every year.  This is one of my favorites from 2006! 
"Surfing Muertos" by Tony de Carlo, 2006
Will you be participating in this celebration of our departed loved ones?

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