Michelle "Struggling Actress" Halac sent this snapshot from LA streets.
At Burlington City Arts + Shelburne Farm's annual Of Land and Local, works by artist and Helen Day Art Center director Rachel Moore occupied the first floor gallery. This untitled work is modeled after shrines in the Greek Orthodox tradition, which specifically use carnations — Moore was a Fulbright Fellow in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 2009-2010.
The exhibition label reads:
This vignette serves as a memorial to the human impact of global climate change. Moore's somber offering of broken and twisted cast flowers [carnations] provides a poignant reminder of the lives lost and displaced by water-related catastrophes.
On Sunday, December 4, over 200 community members gathered at Main Street Landing Union Station in Burlington for an event of information about, and prayer with, the water protectors at Standing Rock. Organizers, speakers and spiritual leaders included Charlie Megeso, Rosemary Gladstar, Katrina Coravos, Guido Mase, Pam Montgomery, Fearn Lickfield, Zoe Lemos, Amy Goodman Kiefer and Senayit.
During the speaking portion of the event, an altar sat towards the back of the room, lakeside, with a bowl of water at its center and arrangements and offerings surrounding it. It was moved to the center of the room for the prayer circle, which was led by Fearn Lickfield of the Green Mountain Druid Order. Community members added water from their own homes to the bowl, which was taken outside and deposited into Lake Champlain in a procession led by Charlie Megeso, Katrina Coravos and Lickfield.
Due to phone trouble, this is the only surviving of the photos I took which is a goddamned shame because it was beautiful.
Shots of the Witches' Healing Altar inside the Omen shop in Salem, Massachusetts. Was positively swarming with tourists during my early fall visit (as a tourist).
The signs instruct guests to:
Write the name of a loved one who needs healing on a piece of parchment and place it in the cauldron on the altar. / Peer into the mist of the scrying bowl to see a vision of your future. / To create magic for healing, love, prosperity, career, or any benevolent intention, purchase a votive candle and leave it to burn on the altar.
From OUT OF THE BLUE comes Paulie, aka Paul Foreman, delightful college friend whom I have not seen in years, offering pictures from his travels in Taiwan. He writes:
The attached photos were taken just outside a small town called Rueili, in the mountainous center of Taiwan. This area is quite rural and the main thing people do for a living is run tea plantations (you can see a field of tea growing behind the incense burner in one photo). I'm sorry to say I wasn't quite able to figure out just who that statue is of, as I don't speak Chinese. But I do know that it is a local spirit/deity, and that shrines like this are common in Buddhist areas. Many places have their own stories and heroes that are incorporated into the Buddhist belief system. They are a way to honor one's ancestors, especially on festival days. Somebody in town has been keeping this shrine's incense lit for at least the past few days - it's been burning every time I walk past.
Paulie reports that he lives in Asia now, dividing his time between "super-Catholic Philippines and super-Buddhist Vietnam" and frequently sees shrines - "not just in 'official' places of worship but also in people's homes."
Thank you Paulie!
For whatever many reasons, there is a whole host of altars and shrines and memorials that were never posted here, most, if not all, from LA days. I'd like to post them, even though they will most likely lack much contextualizing details.
This first one is outside of Cha-Cha Lounge, next to mine and Lauren's Silverlake apartment. I think, but can't be sure, that this memorial was in honor of one of the guys who worked in Gus's food truck. He died young, and suddenly.
Belated: I almost didn't notice this faded-paint ghost bike in the dreary dull Burlington afternoon light. It's chained to a tree outside of Radio Bean, with a sprig of fake pink flowers stuck in the frame. According to Radio Bean barista, it's not a memorial to anyone in particular, but the leftovers from a past Day of the Dead bike ride.
Belated post of a memorial on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, sent by struggling actress Michelle Halac.
The Starman's star in Hollywood, photo taken by Nate's friend Felischa Marye and sent by Nate.
I had the pleasure of meeting Burlington based artist Toni-Lee Sangastiano yesterday, who spoke with me about meeting with Canadian independent curator Ola Wlusek through her participation in Burlington City Art's Visiting Critics program. Toni-Lee's work (what I saw) ranges from pointed social-commentary installation to colorful, large-scale sideshow banners, but what caught particularly caught my eye (surprise) was her use of Italian street shrine niches in Florence.
Toni-Lee explained to me that she restricted herself to using only items purchased at the European 99-cent store, and made lanterns using Coca-Cola cans and glow sticks. For each altar she installed, she made a corresponding map of its location drawn on marbled paper she made while studying there.
She writes on her website: Misguided Adorations repurposes vacant Italian street shrine alcoves as slyly subversive altars to consumer culture and maps of their locations with Florentine marbling. Created during her sabbatical in Florence, Italy, this photographic series documents Sangastiano’s luminous art-installations created from low cost consumer goods, including soft drink cans transformed with pin-hole tracings and glow-sticks.
Presiding over the front entrance of the Seven Days offices in Burlington is a memorial to a one of the paper's former arts writers, Marc Awodey (pronounced like Audi). Awodey was not just a writer, but a painter, published poet, and, as Seven Days noted in his obituary, a "one-time creator of poetry vending machines that served up tiny verses for quarters" - which the base of this shrine-like construction is modeled after. Awodey wrote about the project in his book 95 Theses: Art and Machine, published in 2004.
The memorial itself was made by Poultney, VT, artist Ruth Hamilton, and is officially titled Marc Awodey Memorial Cabinet. It is at Seven Days by the generosity of collector Mark Waskow, whose "Waskowmium" purports over 12,000 works of contemporary art housed in multiple locations. Hamilton has made two other "cabinets," Peace Cabinet and Day of the Dead Cabinet, as well as the altar-like Goddess Figure - all can be viewed on her website.
In the main compartment of this memorial, Awodey stands reading against a miniature painted backdrop of Church Street, surrounded by his art supplies and easel. There is also an apple tree with an orchard ladder, a cello, and a circus elephant.
Awodey was born in 1960, and graduated with an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1984. He died of a heart attack in October of 2012, at the age of 51.