It's more than two months away, but Lawndale Art Center is already preparing for its annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibition. The exhibition will include musical performances, paper-cutting and sugar skull-making (yum) workshops and the annual retablo silent auction and gala.
The retablo is a small painting on any variety of surface, and the literal translation means "behind the altar," because retablos are traditionally used to honor the saints of the Catholic Church, according to the entry form. That's right, entry form: Lawndale is now inviting artists and members of the public to come down and grab their retablo material (a small piece of sheet metal) and get to work on their own bite-sized pieces of art.
Qualifying retablos will be displayed in Lawndale's Día de los Muertos exhibition and have a chance to be sold in the art center's silent auction -- its largest fundraiser of the year, according its Web site. Artists whose retablos are sold may get 50 percent of the sale (unless they feel generous and want to donate more to the center).
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To be included in the exhibition: • Each work must use the metal issued by Lawndale (other materials may be added). • Maximum finished size: 12 inches x 14 inches x 6 inches deep. • Work must hang from the wall and must include any hardware (other than nails) needed to install. • Frames are not required.
Furthermore, "Lawndale will not display work which does not meet all stated conditions or lacks sufficient structural integrity for exhibition and sale," according to the entry form.
In addition, Lawndale doesn't require that you follow the retablo-making traditions of Mexico, but familiarizing yourself with the artisitic practices is strongly encouraged.
Download an entry form here and hurry over to Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main, to pick up your piece of tin. You can pick them up during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can drop off your finished retablo from October 3 through October 6.