A few weeks ago, I was asked by the co-founder of Exodus Events, Antonio Pelayo if I’d be interested in exhibiting a piece of art at their annual El Velorio event in celebration of the Dià de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. My first thought was, “hmm I have a Mickey Mouse Skull painting but I don’t think it really fits the theme…” but then I thought, “why don’t I create a special piece for it and have it be part of my series of ‘Cultural Skulls’?!” I told Antonio to count me in and so began my research on Dia de Los Muertos. I read about the holiday and the meaning behind it and looked at numerous paintings to get inspirations. I saw so many beautiful intricate pieces and my initial thought was “I can’t make mine any more elaborate than these… sigh” but then I resorted to what I do best and that is, put my own twist. I decided to create a simple, yet creative piece. I then ran a name contest on social media and picked my favorite: “Amor Eterno” which means “Eternal Love”. I was going to pick “Till Death Do Us Part.” but felt that “Amor Eterno” is even more deep and meaningful and fits the painting very well. An old fashioned, well dressed, romantic gentleman who never stopped loving his wife and carried his love to the grave. In other words, true love never dies. Now that’s some powerful stuff if you ask me. Here are some images of the painting.

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This is going to be my first time EVER participating in a Dià de Los Muertos event and I’m very excited about it. It’s great that Antonio Pelayo reached out to me and other non Mexican and Latin American artists to be part of the show. In his own words to me, Antonio said, “One thing I pride myself with my events is that I made them multicultural.” Chapeau to Antonio and others who share the same ideals. In my opinion, there is something magical about seeing a foreign culture’s custom through the eyes and paint brush of an outsider. Art is a very powerful and universal tool in bringing people together and raising cultural awareness.

Below is a video from last year’s El Velorio event, which got me super excited. Art, music, face painting, dancing, drinking and meeting new friends? It doesn’t get any more festive than that. The event will be hosted at Plaza de la Raza, “a community-based cultural arts and education center.” Part of the proceeds from ticket sales and painting sales will be donated to the center.

For more informaiton about the event, head over to: www.facebook.com/events/1069820716402604/

As always, I like to conclude the post by a quote. Although Day of the Dead seems like a sad holiday to celebrate, it is in fact the celebration of life and love because “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell, “Hallowed Ground”

xo

Maryam

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