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As a kid, I loved Halloween, which was the day before my birthday, doubling the fun. When I learned about the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, I was fascinated and wanted to participate. It seemed like a much happier and less creepy celebration of the holiday. As an adult, I traveled to Mexico several times and collected Day of the Dead art, my favorite being a green papier-mâché skull or Calavera, which I still have. As an artist I was drawn to the bright colors that, in themselves, mocked death, and the elaborate patterns that evoked the tangled jungles and forests where the monarch butterflies migrated each fall like souls returning to earth.

When I migrated from New England to Southern California, I took to papier-mâché like a butterfly to marigolds. The climate made it not only possible, but imperative for a sculptor with no kiln other than the sun. I was wowed by what traditional Mexican artists could do with the medium and, instead of joining their ranks, have made the art my own. My series of Dead Heads infuses the traditional with themes that lend meaning and joy to me. Life is short; make art!Each Dead Head is approximately “life” size mounted on a copper post in a cocobolo hardwood base.

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