Til death do us part

The quick and the dead party elbow to elbow at packed Dia de los Muertos gala: Skulls are the hot accessories

The quick and the dead party elbow to elbow at packed Lawndale gala

Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Lane Schultz, Bob Schultz
Lawndale Dia de los Muertos chairs Bob and Lane Schultz. Photo by Joel Luks
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, ofrenda
Photo by Shelby Hodge
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Marks Hinton, Barbara Hinton
Marks and Barbara Hinton. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Minette Boesel, Peter Boesel
Peter and Minnette Boesel. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Nicole Romano, Joey Romano, Mike Maggart
Nicole Laurent Romano, from left, Mike Maggart and Joey Romano. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Rosalva Reyes-Hada, left, and Brenda Williams. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Judy Masliyah and Rob Proctor. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Pamela Ulmer, left, and Denise Furlough. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Patrick Turk, left, Jessica Kreutter and David Olivares. Photo by Joel Luks
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Carey Kirkpatrick, Courtney Perna
Carey Kirkpatrick, left, and Courtney Perna. Photo by Joel Luks
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, heart art
More than 200 retablos were on the auction block. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, skeletons 2
You've never seen a check-in environment like this one at Lawndale Art Center. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Steve Neel, Sara Neel
Artist Steve Neel and his daughter, Sara Neel. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Pen Morrison, John Linden, Alicia Duplan
Pen Morrison, from left, John Linden and artist Alicia Duplan. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Matt Adams, Dominick D'Aunno
Matt Adams bids on a retablo with Dominick D'Aunno Photo by Shelby Hodge
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Lane Schultz, Bob Schultz
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, ofrenda
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Marks Hinton, Barbara Hinton
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Minette Boesel, Peter Boesel
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Nicole Romano, Joey Romano, Mike Maggart
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos
Gala and Retablo Silent Auction 2014, Lawndale Art Center, Dia De Los, Muertos, Carey Kirkpatrick, Courtney Perna
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, heart art
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, skeletons 2
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Steve Neel, Sara Neel
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Pen Morrison, John Linden, Alicia Duplan
News, Shelby, Lawndale Dias de los Muertos, October 2014, Matt Adams, Dominick D'Aunno

Lawndale Art Center executive director Christine West was actually hoping for a smaller turnout at the annual Dia de Los Muertos gala than that of previous years. But Thursday night, the enthusiastic crowd bidding on contemporary retablos created by local artists was as strong as ever,nudging the 500 mark.

So many joined the Day of the Dead celebration that at the party's height, the quick and the dead were packed elbow to elbow. 

The bustling scene was a colorful cornucopia with papel picados hanging from the ceiling, marigolds everywhere and retablos lining the walls. 

They poured in to bid on 245 retablos, to sup on Tex-Mex fare from Tacos a Go-Go and to revel in the playful skeleton decor. Remembrances of deceased loved-ones lives filled the community ofrenda or altar where skeletons, sugar skulls and marigolds, the traditional flower of the dead, captured the spirit of the colorful celebration most associated with Mexican folk traditions.

The bustling scene was a colorful cornucopia with papel picados hanging from the ceiling, marigolds everywhere and retablos lining the walls. Even a fair share of guests got into the spirit painting their faces to resemble skulls. Contributing artists Cynthia Hoyt and Helena Gijsbers van Wijk wore skull necklaces as they perused the retablos.

"This is more fun than any other fundraiser, more fun than any other one that I do," Hoyt said. "It's so fun to see what other artists come up with."

Matt Adams, president of the Visual Arts Alliance, and spouse Dominick D'Aunno were among the first to start bidding on the works while gala chairs Lane and Bob Schultz were planning on taking a few home on this night.

Perusing the artwork were Lee Ellis, Ernie Manouse, Denise Furlough, Paula Murphy, John Dascoulias, Trudi Smith and Patrick Mahoney, Barbara and Marks Hinton, Sara Neel, Steve Neel, Minnette and Peter Boesel and Rosalva Reyes-Hada.

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