¡Saludos! This past Saturday, I had the chance to experience not only my first Dia de los Muertos event, “Noche de Altares” in Santa Ana, but I was also able to enjoy my first art-walk in Santa Ana, ever! I had the chance to talk to many different people on Saturday night about who they were honoring in their Altares, about the social movements that people attempt to make others aware of, and also about social and global issues that are occur everywhere. These issues include bullying, discrimination, and the countless women that are missing and are mysteriously murdered in Juarez, Mexico. On the bright side, this made me remember why I am intrigued with writers, artists, poets, and painters in the first place. I didn’t consume any alcoholic beverages this weekend, but I went to work feeling as if I consumed the whole entire Artist Village’s wine. Everyone I met and spoke with at the Artist Village were either super nice, charismatic, had sarcastic and witty humor (which is a positive), and I don’t believe anyone was quite sober. Anyway, while being inside the Santora Arts Building I walked around to check out all the spots with all the eclectic art and people. As I checked out one of the rooms shared by various artists, I spoke to an artist that had his work displayed, when I asked him what inspired him to create his pieces of work he simply stated, “Nothing inspires me, just alcohol.” I also asked him what else does he do besides paint, and what other types of artwork does he create besides desolate skeletons sitting at bars (these were the paintings that were displayed due to the Day of the Dead celebrations), he solely stated, “I do nothing but drink, and my other art work is just weird.” Great, my type of person, an alcoholic hopeless romantic! Luckily, he showed me some of his other artwork in his cellular phone, cute, but not that weird, not for myself anyways.

I also had the chance to check out GCS Clothing’s event, Everything Went Black an artist tribute to the punk band, Black Flag! Cool! This event was so awesome, that I decided just to video record it and take a couple of photos. I’m not video savvy, so please bear with my amateur video recording and bad angles, it’s kind of fun, in a silly way, kind of.

These videos and photos of events that occurred in Santa Ana, Ca. on Saturday, November 5, 2011.

Black Flag artist tribute in GCS Clothing.

Folkloric dancers inside the Santora Arts Building.

Honoring children against bullying.

Honoring undocumented students.

Honoring women in Juarez, Mexico.

Artist/Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and nerdy V.

Before heading to the Santora Arts Building, my boyfriend and I took smaller streets in order to go around the crowded main streets due to the Dia de los Muertos events. As we walked closer to the main street, we passed through a pack of older men wearing cool biker leather jackets, which turned out to be a biker spot, “The Charros” was stitched neatly and badass on the back of their jackets. As we passed by them, one of the bikers nicely invited us to a kick-back happening on the side of the Tobacco shop. Cool, we walked in to the blaring speakers playing the music of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. We didn’t stay long at all, but as soon as we walked out I saw an artist speaking to these girls about his artwork that was displayed (which was made with techniques and mediums that he uses to make surf boards). Anyway, I swiftly approached him, and asked him a few questions, but sadly I had recorded too much other stuff on my camera, and it died in the middle of our interview. NO! I’ll still post the video up, but one interesting thing that I found after interviewing him, talking to others, and witnessing the behaviors of all the people in the Dia de los Muertos events, and in the art-walk happenings was something that the surf board artist said after asking him what impact did he want to leave on people with his art, and I quote, “The only impact I want to leave on people is love- love is inspiration, love is everything, and everywhere.” Through out the whole night, no matter if I was at the Dia de los Muertos event, or at the Santora Arts building, and even while I was just lingering around the biker guys next to the tobacco shop, everything and everyone was simply about love, and togetherness- people were honoring their passed loved ones, the living ones, people were honoring themselves with happiness, community, and harmony. It was an amazing night, because everyone came together to enjoy love for the culture, and love and support for each other.

While researching Chicano and Latino art and artist, and the impacts it leaves on individuals, and communities, the main aspect is that art is a form of carefree love and support that makes everybody happy. And on that note, in my opinion, I believe that the people, children, students, and the elderly should all practice art, taste art, have some sort of art in their lives in order to keep moving forth into an illuminating life.

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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