Friday, October 12, 2012

Healing Embrace - Creating an Altar for Dia de los Muertos

by Martha Rodriguez of estudiomartita

October has arrived. This means a flurry of activity in my Mission studio and out and about in the City and East Bay. Unlike most Etsyers where November and December are the busiest months, October is when I do most of my business.

As a Latina / Chicana SFEtsy member, selling under the name estudiomartita, Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead is a huge holiday. My Etsy store is comprised of mostly Latino inspired gift items. Day of the Dead plays a very large role in the increased demand for these items in October.

Aside from Etsy the painting and art installations I do are also Latino inspired. This year, for the first time in my 15 years of creating art, I decided to apply to the Dia de los Muertos exhibit held at SOMArts, San Francisco. I wrote a proposal with my theme, diagram included. Not an easy task. Fortunately, my proposal was accepted.

My altar theme centered on an experience I had before and during my diagnosis and treatment for Leukemia in late 2010. A month before my diagnosis, I felt a strong presence from my father. He had been deceased for nine years. It felt as if we were sharing the same physical space. At times it felt like an embrace. Whatever the reasons for this experience, I was diagnosed with Leukemia a month later. The feeling of being nurtured, protected and strengthened by the memory of my Dad, his embrace, helped me through eight months of chemotherapy and testing.

To be able to put this experience into a concrete art form and convey the nurturing care I felt I received from the memory of my Dad, was profound. To share an experience, memory in an art form and see it visually is just amazing.

If you’d like to see my altar installation in person (see photo above) please stop by SOMArts, “Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future.” The opening is this Friday, October 12 from 6 to 9pm. Calling on the Spirits runs until Sunday, November 10th.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!

1 comment:

evenhoward said...

Martha, I hope your opening was great! I hope I get to see the show.

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