BEST EXHIBITION (1999)
In Mexico and many other Latino cultures, the first day of November belongs to the dead. Special breads are baked, graves are cleaned, and ofrendas (altars) are built in homes, all to help lost souls find their way back to the land of the living. CreArte marks the occasion annually by commissioning artists to create their own ofrendas. The results are a surprising and memorable mixture of personal history, political content, and traces of pop culture. Surrounded by candles, many of the ofrendas feature common elements such as photographs, skeletal figures, candy, and toys. The artists distinguish their individual works by adding visual or verbal commentary about everyone from family members to modern-day martyrs and saints. A month's worth of festivities usually accompanies the exhibition, including a procession along Franklin Avenue (bring your own skull mask), free classes, and performances.