Latino Art Collective to Exhibit Miniature Day of the Dead Altars in Pasadena – Pasadena Weekendr


Multicultural performance collective TA’YER, in partnership with the Pasadena/Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL), celebrates Halloween — or its Latin American version — on Saturday with a miniature Day of the Dead shrine exhibit and contest at the Cabrera’s Mexican restaurant in Pasadena.

The exhibition of miniature altars will also be a contest in which members of the public can vote for the top three altars, with winners receiving gift certificates, said Fernando Castro, executive director of TA’YER Latino Arts Collective.

“We have been working with PACTL for three years under the leadership of Helena Ayala, who has been a great help to the community, organizing multi-generational… theater workshops, where little children join their mothers, grandfathers and grandfathers. -mothers,” Castro says.

The event heats up with theater games moving around the room, then a folk arts teacher gives the kids projects to complete, such as making paper lanterns and making “papel picado,” which consists of basically cutting out elaborate designs in sheets of multicolored. paper and hang them up for display, and paint porcelain “calaveras” or miniature skulls, Castro said.

Altar prep, calavera painting, and papel picado work has actually begun and continues through Thursday at the Flintridge Center, 236 Mountain St. The creators will take the finished artwork home and will bring them to the Mexican restaurant in Cabrera on Saturday morning.

Then the tribute ceremony begins, where family members who had a recently deceased loved one bring offerings to the typical sized altar to honor the deceased.

“And that’s the teaching of not being afraid of death but reflecting love and dedication to celebrating the memory of a loved one,” Castro said. “There is a ritual where offerings are presented at the central altar and what it means for the offering is read. A group of people enter, dressed as ‘catrinas’ (usually depicting wealthy women with faces painted with a skull motif) and they will dance, a particular dance or a moving piece with the sound of ‘La Llorona’, which is a traditional song”.

For the competition, spectators will be able to vote to choose their favorite altar.

“The event means bringing back memories, bringing out traditions and putting a different spin on it,” Castro said, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many communities of color and especially ravaged. “Through the use of art, culture, ritual and memory, these celebrations allow us to collectively mourn and honor those who have passed before us.”

As a diverse group of Latino immigrants, day laborers, parents, workers and other members of the community, the artistic collective TA’YER encourages the community to present through art their personal experiences and reflections on social issues: immigration, homophobia and human rights.

The non-profit group is dedicated to helping at-risk youth, recent immigrants, and the LGBT community engage in the arts and community issues.

The Day of the Dead Exhibit opens at noon at Cabrera’s, 655 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena.

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