Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Days Between Stations

So I'm on the red eye to Miami and couldn't leave my palm tree lined neighborhood--which no longer squawks with the morning parrot armadas in full color regalia since temperatures have descended--without a return to the final throes of a weekend I'm still thrumming over. And since I broached the subject of Dia de Los Muertos at the close of an earlier entry, it's approriate to point out that last Sunday was similarly filled with art forays and extremely delightful company. After a tasty feijoada at Taste of Brazil, conveniently next door to Antigua and now finally serving beer and wine, a friend and I then dropped in on the second Day of the Dead exhibition of the weekend at ChimMaya on Beverly Blvd. just east of Atlantic. That part of unincorporated LA county is now actually considering cityhood. Imagine, the "City of East LA."

So there I was with the annual arts holiday-holyday still a week out, even. Goes to show how seriously we take Dia de Los Muertos on this side of town. The exhibition at ChimMaya, a full-on gallery and hand crafts store in the heart of the Garfield High School neighborhood, brought everybody together and included an altar by Ofelia Esparza, madrina to just about every mural painter and silk screen printer who ever stepped foot inside Self-Help Graphics. Props to Leo Limon, painter, printmaker and muralist for his art and his patient friendship. His work is here up top and the print here is a portrait in a linocut print. Not sure who it's by but I guess I could troll around on the net and find it. Dig the linocut print portrait of Leo by Artemo Rodriguez of La Mano Press on the left. They were created for an exhibition of prints based on Cheech Marin's collection of Chicano art.

Followed up the ChimMaya visit with a stop at Self-Help Graphics for the closing of the a print show featuring work by master printer Poli Marichal, poet and artist Don Newton, Judith Duran, Emelda Gutierrez, Kay Brown and Victor Rojas, among others. Titled H2O, the exhibition was a love letter to clean water and the issued around the liquid gold that have plagued Los Angeles for two generations and now threaten the world. Eco-warriors and barrio angels are not mutually exclusive categories and the two twin up well in a show that needed more attention. Politics and poetry conceived a tribute to Yemaya, the Afro-cuban orisha and goddess of water in a show that takes printmaking into to new territory. Los de Abajo, as the printmaking collective is called, delivered a stridently beautiful prayer in honor of a planet that is mostly water, inhabited by human, whose bodies are also mostly water. Oye!

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