The Folk Tree Prepares for Day of the Dead

The Folk Tree’s 28th Day of the Dead Altars & Ephemera exhibition, on view from Oct. 8 through Nov. 5, features traditional altars honoring loved ones who have passed, as well as installations dealing with broader contemporary issues and concepts about death. Also on view is a large selection of work in various media by local artists and Mexican folk art commemorating this major Mexican holiday, which falls on Nov.1 and Nov. 2. The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. During the reception, The Folk Tree also welcomes art historian Paul Koudounaris who will sign his recent leather covered book,“The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses,” which includes 250 full-color and 50 black-and-white photographs taken by the author.

Related work in a variety of media is on view by over 50 area artists and featured work from Mexico includes pieces by Mexico City paper mache artist Joel Garcia and ceramic figures from Capula, which are hand built, painted and glazed. The many local artists represented include Ulla Anobile (paper mache & felt); Cathy Ashworth (paintings & mixed media); Mary Clark Camargo (mosaics), Elizabeth Espinoza (papel picado); Flavia Zuniga-West (pinatas); Jose Eduardo Infante (photographs); Chris Madans (assemblage); Monica Rodriguez (cards); Leonard Martinez (Hello Kitty calavera t-shirts), Guillermo Perez (sugar skulls); and Day of the Dead themed jewelry by Carlos Gutierrez, Lisa Rocha, Rone Prinz, Juan Sigala, and Rossana.

Mexican folk art objects created for the Day of the Dead are sold in the streets throughout Mexico in the weeks preceding the holiday. Many examples of these items are available at The Folk Tree. They are often made of clay, paper maché, tin and sugar. Those forms most commonly found are skeletons and skulls, often decorated to include a person’s name.

A time of celebration and contemplation, the appeal of the Day of the Dead holiday continues to spread outside its Mexican origins.

The Folk Tree is located at 217 South Fair Oaks Ave., south of Old Pasadena. Hours are M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5. For more information, call (626) 795-8733 or (626) 793-4828.