Like leaves, art changes with the seasons.
Some people just kind of come in to escape, to feel like theyre in an urban setting. I think thats what Deliciously Weird has historically done made you feel like youre somewhere else, McCarson Jones, art show coordinator at The Lost Dog Bar & Lounge, said over the pulsating bass of San Francisco DJ ATISH.
For a few brief hours Saturday evening, Durangoans made an escape to faraway streets that never sleep without leaving downtown. Down the street at Studio &, Deliciously Weird and The Soul of All Souls created a youthful, urban scene with contemporary art and music.
In seeking the ultimate escape, there is only one so final as death. The Soul of All Souls celebrates artwork of the Day of the Dead with a collection of funny, morbid, poignant and downright creepy interpretations of that final event. The Mexican holiday, which is traditionally held Nov. 1 and 2, celebrates and remembers family and friends who have died.
Studio & is a collective of working artists who, since March 2010, have produced and displayed progressive with locally minded art and ideas. The Soul of All Souls features more than 25 local artists. Many of the works will be taken to Tucson for a Day of the Dead procession Nov. 5 and 6.
Its been great to see the different ways that people interpret and honor death. Whether its celebratory or mournful, theyre all reverent in some way, said Shay Lopez, a member of Studio &.
The variety of interpretations not only includes Day of the Dead inspired works but also mixed-media pieces made from bones and discarded objects, metaphoric sculptures and photographs.
Among the highlights were Esther Sullivans Suspended Love, a delicate copper, bronze and silver sculpture of a heart suspended over a lonely grave. Sullivans unanswered question leaves a melancholy story up to the imagination.
The most poignant piece, however, was perhaps the altar below Lopezs Foamy Bones, the headpiece to a Day of the Dead puppet. Here, everyone became a contributor to the show by leaving trinkets, small artworks or photos of deceased pets and family members. The shrine will also be taken to Tucson.
When English playwright W. Somerset Maugham said, Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it, he clearly had not visited Studio &. The Soul of All Souls offered a brief glimpse into a style of art seldom witnessed in the Durango scene.
Before night had even settled, Studio & was packed and The Lost Dog was just warming up. DJ Atish Mehta, aka ATISH, spun records for an ever-growing and evolving crowd.
Every hour a new scene unfolded to the deep-house and retro-synth mixes spinning from Mehtas table. By 9 p.m., the night crowd had usurped any space formerly occupied by dining families.
Now in its fourth year, Deliciously Weird seeks to provide a show space for new and emerging artists in the area.
I love advocating for local artists, Jones said. I love educating the community on every kind of art aspect you can.
Jones, who regularly recruits local artists for her guerrilla, one-night shows, described Deliciously Weird as a free for all. There is no rhyme or reason here, only a sublime collection of off-the-wall, bizarre works from local artists.
A lemon-yellow portrait of John Denver, Ronald McDonald and a Chickadee by Dan Groth hangs next to mutilated Barbie dolls re-imagined as kachina spirit dancers by Kima Wells.
The coincidence of Deliciously Weird and The Soul of All Souls miraculously occurring on the same night granted Durangoans an illusory step into another city, time and place, but at the end of the night, everyone could sleepily step back into their beautiful mountain home.
Margaret Hedderman is a freelance writer based in Durango. Reach her at email@example.com.