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Dia de los Muertos Installations

I believe that an altar is a temporary portal through which, if the conditions are right, we can visit with, honor and share a nostalgia of our loved ones with our community. In small towns this normally happens in the “campo santo”, the cemetery, as my father would call it. In bigger cities of el Norte the cemetery is less and less frequented for this purpose. Over the years I have worked on a number of Dia de los Muertos Altares at various galleries and institutions. These are some of the documentation photos that I have collected. 

El Soldado y Las Sandias
El Soldado y Las Sandias

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center 2004

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El Soldado y Las Sandias-detail
El Soldado y Las Sandias-detail

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center 2004

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El Soldado y Las Sandias-detail
El Soldado y Las Sandias-detail

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center 2004

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Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas
Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Centro Cultural Aztlan 2007

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Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas
Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Centro Cultural Aztlan 2007

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Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas
Altar for Horacio Sanchez Valderas

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Centro Cultural Aztlan 2007

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Altar for Horacio S Valderas
Altar for Horacio S Valderas

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Gallista Gallery 2005

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Altar for Horacio S Valderas
Altar for Horacio S Valderas

Dia de los Muertos installation @ Gallista Gallery 2005

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The pdf document featured is part of a platica in memory of my father, Horacio Sanchez Valderas 1909~2002, about Meso-American mythology and traditional and non-traditional Dia de los Muertos Altares. You are welcome to use the slideshow for educational purposes. Please contact me and let me know if the slideshow is helpful and I can be of any further assistance. I am available for installations and presentations.

The Linda Pace Dia de Los Muertos Altar @ The Historic Pearl Brewery 2017
Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar
Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar

Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017-long shot of the installation at The Historic Pearl Brewery-SATX

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Coronas for Linda Pace
Coronas for Linda Pace

Coronas(funeral wreaths) for Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017

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Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar
Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar

Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017-long shot of the installation at The Historic Pearl Brewery-SATX

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Coronas for Linda Pace 2017
Coronas for Linda Pace 2017

Coronas(funeral wreaths) for Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017

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Coronas for Linda Pace Altar 2017
Coronas for Linda Pace Altar 2017

Coronas(funeral wreaths) for Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017

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Strawberry Skulls for Linda Pace
Strawberry Skulls for Linda Pace

Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017-close up shot of the installation at The Historic Pearl Brewery-SATX

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 When I was asked by ArtPace if I would consider creating a Dia de los Muertos altar for their founder, Linda Pace, I felt honored and grateful.  “Based on the work you have done before...” made it a responsibility for me, so l agreed. I chose to collaborated with my mother Victoria Moctezuma Valderas. She still runs the ceramics/flower shop that I grew up working in as a kid. The wreaths that she makes for Dia de los Muertos in the Rio Grande Valley would be one component of the altar that I began to plan. I have collaborated with her before and I have made it a point to do so because of the craft that I learned from her and the very specific style of funeral wreaths that she makes. They are a throwback to earlier times and practices from deeper in Mexico. My father took the whole family on the field trip to buy the planchas for the different leaf shape that we used. We would hand cut, color, emboss and wax all the paper leaves that went into a wreath.

 

My other collaborator was San Antonio photographer/filmmaker Luis M. Garza. We have collaborated before on other projects such as Texas Size Print-SATX , The Community Print-San Marcos and Texas Size Breach-El Paso/SATX.c

 

Currently working on short video documentary of the making of the altar and the install and evening presentation release date TBA

These are photographs from the Linda Pace Dia de los Muertos Altar 2017-long shot of the installation at The Historic Pearl Brewery-San Antonio, TX. For more information visit my blog