Bristol Dia de Muertos at Tandem

The former corner store, now Tandem, featured multiple Dia de los Muertos ofrendas in late October and early November.

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Feminists Against Bullshit DeTox Vulva Shelter

A cozy, interactive shrine-like installation at October’s Feverish World Symposium at the University of Vermont, designed and constructed by Laurie Essig and Tina Escaja of local artist-activist group Feminists Against Bullshit. Guests to the “womb room” space could bask beneath a tampon light fixture, make zines, consider the life and work of female artists and activists including Angela Davis and Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (W.I.T.C.H.), and peruse back issues of Ms. Magazine.

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Battery Steele

Altar-like niches with used candles deep in the dark of Battery Steele, a WWII military bunker-turned-canvas on Peaks Island off the coast of Portland, Maine. 

Shrine to Art Volunteers

Spotted at Portland's SPACE gallery in Maine, at the opening of Justin Favela's Pólvora. Art volunteers make it happen.  

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Beach Trash Shrine

Shrine to/of beach trash in Chatham, Cape Cod, Mass.

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The Seven Days Bathroom, Before

Way back in the day, say fall of 2015, I helped implement a re-hang of the venerated religious-art-filled bathroom of the Seven Days office bathroom. Here's what it looked like before: 

Aer Nail Bar

Boston means manicures with Chloe. 

#BTV Bicycle Memorial

Spotted at the curve of Manhattan drive, bicycle frame is dented and affixed to fence with zipties. 

Rachel Moore

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. 

Prayer With Standing Rock

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. 

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Omen Shop, Salem

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.

News from Paulie

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! 

Memory Dump VI

Memorial to Dakota, who died under a year old. Outside what used to be the main entrance to UVM Medical Center, when it was Fletcher Allen.

Memory Dump V

A stretch: shrine-like space for Alien and related memorabilia, in the open studio space/gallery belonging to who-knows-who below These Days in Skid Row.