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Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Hom’

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I love museums and always have. I believe there is inspiration to be found in museums – inspiration for fashion, stories, thinking, life.

One of my favorite museum haunts is the Oakland Museum of California. I remember going as a school kid and what intrigued me most were the history exhibits of recreated rooms; I can still see the lovely lady donning a tall hat standing at the door of her Victorian home and the American Indians dressed in their beaded leather and feathered finery. Talk about leaving an impression!

Mandala by Nancy Hom.

Mandala by Nancy Hom.

Another impressive exhibit at the OMCA is their annual Day of the Dead. For 21 years, the museum has invited six or so local artists to create altars honoring the November 1st celebration, All Souls Day. (Note: After this year, the museum will go on a biennial schedule for this exhibit.) It’s really an all season celebration including Halloween and a time when we all are thinking of lost loved-ones. This year’s exhibit theme is Rituals & Remembrance and it runs now through January 3rd, 2016. Touring the gallery, it had me thinking about family traditions both old and new of honoring the dead – from visiting a gravesite to a birthday mention on Facebook.

Close up.

Close up.

Mandala by Nancy Hom caught my eye at a distance for size and color and then drew me in forcing a closer look at all the photos. Each one is colored and has an added skeleton figure, setting a scene and telling a story.

Although small, there is much to see and ponder at Rituals & Remembrance and don’t forget the Community Celebration coming up October 25th. Click here for more information.

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OMCADayofDead_10It’s that spooky time of year and once again the Oakland Museum of California is celebrating Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) with a special exhibition running now through December 8, 2013. Days of the Dead is a Mesoamerican annual tradition of honoring the dead between October 31st and November 2nd with alters and various festivities.

To mark their 19th year celebrating Days of the Dead and the opening of the Gallery of California Natural Sciences, this year’s exhibition title is The Tree of Life and Death. Nine local artists have created altars and installations focussed on the combined themes of remembrance and the interactions between humans and nature. Artist and Guest Curator Eduardo Pineda says: This exhibition uses the powerful symbol of the Tree of Life and Death to represent the indivisibility of life and death. Drawn from the sacred Mesoamerican metaphor of a life-giving tree that unites earth, the heavens, and the underworld of death, the tree also represents the connection with ancestors and humanity.

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Talk Story Time by Nancy Hom.

Housed in the new California Natural Sciences Gallery, the nine pieces explore personal loss, community loss of environment and resources, and the cycle of life. One of my favorites is by artist and poet Nancy Hom. Titled Talk Story Time, her piece is a round table set for a meal with four chairs dressed in clothing including shoes placed underneath the table. The four chairs represent friends and fellow poets whom Ms. Hom had known for years. The table is meticulously set with notebooks and writings by the four authors, and photos of them as well. A tree is painted on the wall in the background and hovering above the table are origami birds which have the poets’ works written on them. It’s a compelling piece – I was drawn in at first by the dressed chairs but the more I looked the more I saw and got to know these unique individuals.

There’s always something to learn, something to be inspired by, something to gain at Dias de los Muertos at the Oakland Museum of California.

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