Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

I went to the City Arts Factory for the opening of Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead themed art show and block party. Pine Street was blocked off around the City Arts Factory with a large stage set up, art vendors, and a food truck. Large skeletal figures surrounded the entry way. Inside it was already packed and all the art in the hall and left gallery had highly ornate day of the dead skulls. I saw a flash of pink. It was Denna Beena ducking behind some black curtains. I followed and we entered a hectic backstage dressing room and makeup area. I recognized many of the Yow dancers and Denna graciously introduced me. Carolina Suarez Garcia came in and did her own makeup. She is the public relations manager for Tacatantán Records, one of the events producers along with The Orlando Downtown Arts District and Pink Hair Productions.I tried to find order in the chaos and clutter.

There was a mad rush to get the makeup done for all the performers before the 8PM Yow Dance, Thriller Flash Mob.  I thought I was sketching Yow dancers, but it turned out that these performers helped with Dali Live's painting performance on stage. Dali was dressed like the joker with a shock of green hair. He quickly painted a large portrait of the joker while dancing to loud techno music. Poison Ivy and the other characters danced as he painted. They were all characters from Batman movies and eventually Batman did a cameo walk on stage. The crowd loved it. There was a costume contest and day of the dead parade.

Yow dance lead the assembled crowd in the Thriller line dance. A few people joined in, but it was hot and most Central Floridians are rather reserved.  Children joined in. Terry arrived and I searched for her in the crowd. I texted each location I went to thinking it might help. I was up against the stage watching Dali Live when Terry bumped me in the shoulder. We walked away from the stage to the back of the crowd and sat on some steps behind two girls with large snakes. A guy was coaching them saying they shouldn't let people touch the snakes heads or grab at them. Terry wanted to take a picture, but the girls wanted money.  Terry was tired, having just come from another corporate party, so I walked her back to her car and called it a night. The Dia de los Muertos exhibit at City Arts Factory is up through the end of October.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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