Day of the Dead On The Way

Better hurry! Enthusiastic artists snatch up tins - again - to create Dia de Los Muertos retablos

Better hurry! Enthusiastic artists snatch up Day of the Dead retablos

News_Retablo_Retablo Wall
View all finished retablos during Lawndale's Dia de los Muertos celebration. Photo by Katy Anderson
Lawndale Art Center retablo tin distribution August 2013
These babies go fast...every year. Photo by Dennis Nance
Kelly Montana, Lawndale's Office Manager, and artist Kia Neill retablo tin distribution at Lawndale Art Center August 2013
Artist Kia Neill, left, gives a thumb's up for securing her tin from Kelly Montana, Lawndale's office manager. Photo by Dennis Nance
News_Retablo_Retablo Wall
Lawndale Art Center retablo tin distribution August 2013
Kelly Montana, Lawndale's Office Manager, and artist Kia Neill retablo tin distribution at Lawndale Art Center August 2013

Some 300 Houston artists are having all the fun celebrating Dia de los Muertos a bit early this year. Members of this festive group have tins in hand, ready to decorate their retablos for the annual celebration at Lawndale Art Center.

Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on supplied 8-inch-by-10-inch pieces of sheet metal. Tin distribution began today with tins limited to one sheet per artist issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Artists return their finished retablos to the center in mid-October, just in time to be installed in a nonjuried exhibition that culminates with the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos. This year marks Lawndale’s 26th annual event, scheduled from Oct. 21- Nov. 9 and filled with the art, music and folklife of Mexico.

“We anticipate all of the tins being handed out by the end of the day today,” says Dennis Nance, exhibitions and programming director at Lawndale. “Right now we have about 60 remaining.”

Well, folks, that was at about noon. I’d say last one to Lawndale is a rotten cascarone.