Monday, November 04, 2013

Dia de los Muertos in Buena Vista, west El Paso, November 2, 2013

Artist Israel Armendariz works on the world's largest painted skull...made from the frame of a vintage VW Beetle!

Folklorico group Ceiba performs at the event...

Works by David Lyon Andersen, Buena Vista Dia de los Muertos, West El Paso, November 2, 2013

What a surprise I had when attending the Dia de los Muertos festivities in the little Buena Vista neighborhood tucked away in west El Paso...several paintings by my old friend David Lyon Andersen. I was Dave's assistant at the UTEP Department of Art from 1987 to 1989. I was a student at the university, and I helped him empty out lockers, paint moving gallery walls, hang shows...just about the best minimum wage job I could ever imagine...LOVED it. Plus, Dave is just a great guy!

I had not seen Dave since 1989 or 1990, and I've always been a huge admirer of his work. When I left my position at the art department, Dave graciously gave me one of his watercolors, which was of a mummified cat. It's hung in every apartment and house I've lived in since that time. Dave now calls Portland, Oregon his home, and it was absolutely GREAT to see him again for the first time in 23 years!

Anyway, Dave had a little show of some of his more recent works, and they are FAN-tastic. Would love to own one (I need to start saving my pennies). Here's a sampling!

Friday, November 01, 2013

--> Día de los Muertos Events in El Paso and Southern New Mexico, 2013Firstly, my apologies for not posting this sooner...I've been sorely neglecting this blog over the past few years, especially since other forms of social media have taken off and blogs have been in sort of a decline. Hopefully many of you will take part in several of the events here in the El Paso southwest this weekend.

My long-standing favorite event is Día de Muertos at Centro Mayapan, 2000 Texas. The celebration features traditional altars, calavera poems and a catrina contest. Dance company Comparza de Chinelos de Zapata will also perform. The event will be from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday, November 2.

Día de los Muertos Festival at Concordia Cemetery. The Concordia Heritage Association and the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society are having their annual event from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, November 2 at Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell. Admission is $5, $1 for students, children, seniors and military. The event will have face painters, live music, storytelling and a ghost tour from 9 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 694-2317 or email

Downtown Día de los Muertos Celebration. This event is for the whole family, and will be held at the San Carlos Building, 501 Texas. Live music from Chuco Soul Project, Bella Fusion and DJ Onemanjazz, plus live art, card readings and fire dancers! Event starts at 5 p.m., Saturday, November 2. Admission is $5 at the door. Kids 5 and younger are free.

Buena Vista Día de los Muertos. This is one I’ve never attended, and I’m looking forward to. The celebration is all day Saturday, November 2, at 120 Courchesne. There will be altars, art picnic workshops and an exhibition by David Lyon Andersen. Iya Khan will perform from 9 a.m. to noon, and Ceiba will have a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 619-886-1892 or email

Día de los Muertos at the El Paso Museum of Art. Hands-on activities, storytelling and more from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, November 2. A candle-decorating workshop will also be held (Cost: $10 for non-members). A celebration featuring an ofrenda (altar) to artists who have passed, pan de muerto and chocolate will be offered. Admission is free. For information, call 532-1707 or visit Also at the museum is a special catrina art show called “Hermosos Huesos,” featuring the work of artist Wayne Hilton. The exhibit is currently open, and ends Wednesday, November 6.

Día de los Muertos Counterculture Festival, 3 p.m. to 1:45 a.m., Saturday, November 3 at Paulina’s Badlands Billiards, 77932 Franklin. Lots of performers at this event! Matachinez Guadalupanos, Folklorica Quetzalez, Bella Fusion (fire dancers) and ten bands, including Fixed Idea and Get the Honey. Costumes are encouraged! Admission is $5 at the door; kids 10 and younger are free! Call 269-6774 for more information.

Day of the Dancing Dead. Starting 5 p.m., Saturday, November 2. This downtown block party will be held on Mills Avenue between Kansas and Stanton. Food trucks, go-go dancers, stilt walkers, music and much more. General admission is $15; VIP admission is $30. Tickets available at the Network, 317 E. Mills.

Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Mesilla Plaza, Mesilla, New Mexico. This is another long-standing Día de los Muertos event, and runs all day Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3. Several altars will be displayer, and artists selling folk art, crafts and much more! Just off Mesilla Plaza, Café de Mesilla, 2051 Calle de Santiago is featuring a Día de los Muertos art exhibit and altar. For more info, email

Border Book Festival Foundation Día de los Muertos, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Based at Casa Camino Real, 314 South Tornillo Street in downtown Las Cruces. There will be a downtown procession at 5 p.m., Saturday Nov. 2 to San José Cemetery. Afterward, music, posole and refreshments.