There is a beautiful ofrenda at the Peabody Museum at Harvard, which is where I learned about the Mexican Purépecha indigenous people’s name for the Monarch butterfly, the “Harvester.” The altar is part of the Museum’s permanent collection and is on display year round.

dayofthedeadaltar1_webFrom the Peabody Museum at Harvard’s Dia de los Muertos exhibit.

The Peabody Museum’s exhibition of a Day of the Dead ofrenda or altar is located in the Encounters With the Americas gallery. The exhibit features pieces from the Alice P. Melvin Collection of Mexican Folk Art and represents the Aztec origins of the holiday and the Catholic symbols incorporated into the tradition, from skeletons to plush Jesus figures.

The altar is contained within a box covered with panels that were decorated by local students and regional and international artists. The altars were designed by the Peabody exhibitions staff and Mexican artists Mizael Sanchez and Monica Martinez.

Originating with the Aztecs, the Mexican Day of the Dead is a unique blend of Mesoamerican and Christian rituals. The holiday, which is celebrated on November 1, All Saints’ Day, is usually dedicated to children; November 2, All Souls’ Day, is dedicated to adults.

Traditions vary from region to region, but generally families gather at cemeteries to tend and decorate the graves of their departed loved ones and remember them by telling stories, eating their favorite foods, and dancing in their honor. Many families build altars at home, decorated with flowers and food, especially pan de muerto or “bread of the dead.” A festive and social occasion, the holiday welcomes the return of those who have died and recognizes the human cycle of life and death.

The Peabody’s permanent altar features items from the Alice P. Melvin collection of Mexican folk art. To see these items, click here.

Curated by Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America and Mexican artist Mizael Sanchez.

To watch a video interview with Mizael Sanchez, click here.

3 more days for the Mayor’s Arts Challenge

Reminder about the Massachusetts Cultural Council 2016 Mayor’s Arts Challenge in the Gloucester Daily Times Talk of the Times by All Hands On Deck  (love that)

You can use your smartphone to watch it on the YouTube channel–you know you’re there when you can see the ‘thumb’s-up’ icon beneath the video window.


Link to YouTube Ma Mayor’s Arts Challenge 2016

Last day: Cape Ann Icons and New England WC Society 15th Biennial North American Open Show @NSAA

You have until 5pm to see these 2 group shows at North Shore Arts Association that are closing today. Downstairs is filled with vistas so dear to local artists they’ve selected these works over others for the Icons of Cape Ann exhibition. Stop by and enjoy their selections. Do your ideas about the theme, emotions and vistas gel with theirs? 114 pieces make their case and they include ones that will stop you in your tracks.Upstairs is devoted entirely to watercolor and is at times mesmerizing. The installation includes juror feedback on the display labels and a peek into process for artists considering juried competitions. The New England Watercolor Society website has listed this year’s winners along with each artist and the work that was accepted for the Biennial, established in 1988. You really have to go in person to linger and closely observe this art. A few to look out for: Evelyn Dunphy, William Perry, Stephen Holland, June Webster, Joey Grant, Rance Jones, Michael Maron, Richard Hanson, Robert J O’Brien, and Kristin Stashenko. Also local artists including: Suzanne Brailey, Paul George, Marion Hall, Marilyn Swift, Carole Loiacono,and Charles Shurcliff.

Icons of Cape Ann 2016 exhibition at North Shore Arts Association: Jim Gibbons “Reflections” (top) and Ray Crane “Outward Bound, Gloucester”
New England Watercolor Society 15th Biennial North American Open Show at North Shore Arts Association
Richard Hanson
Robert J O’Brien
Harry Ruddock III




Fun is over…

You know summer is over when all fun has been suspended in the Mathews’ household for some pre-holiday sprucing up!   The paint cans, ladders, rollers and advil have been all readied for our next few weeks of painting projects.   Fun will resume when the living room, dining room and upper hallways all have a fresh coat of something on them!

Bradford Ski & Board Program

In an exciting partnership with O’Maley School, Seaside Sustainability, Inc. (www.seasidesustainability.org) a charitable organization committed to providing adventure-based experiential education) is offering a new Bradford Ski & Board Program.  Starting on January 9th, come ride with your friends or make new ones in this 6 week program that meets on Monday afternoons (Jan 9, 23, 30 and Feb 6, 13, 27).  If needed, equipment rental is available, and if you’re interested beginner or refresher lessons in skiing or snowboarding are also offered!  Bradford has 13 trails and an expansive state-of-the-art terrain park with lots jumps, rails and boxes! The cost per student for six Monday afternoons of skiing or snowboarding is $245 (lift ticket only) or $295 (lift ticket and lesson) and can be made by check or credit card.  For more information, or if you’re ready to register and pay to save your spot, visit O’Maley Academy website or see Mrs. Sumner, Grade 8 Science.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact program director Eric Magers, magerse@seasidesustainability.org


Beeman Holiday Fair!

More Cape Ann Community News-

Cape Ann Community

You’re invited to the annual
Beeman Holiday Fair!

Saturday, December 3, 2016
9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Buy your Christmas tree and wreaths
(Free local delivery!)
Play games and win prizes
Create crafts
Decorate gingerbread houses
Support our school and local vendors


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