Saturday, February 23, 2008

deMeng de los Muertos... Official Itinerary

Three posts in one day...that's crazy! I'm trying to get some stuff taken care of before I leave Australia.

So I mentioned a few posts back that the Day of the Dead workshop in Oaxaca was a go, but we hadn't put together our official itinerary here it is as well as all the info you would ever need. Colleen is already getting oodles of responses. So, he who able to go with us.

Dia de los Muertos workshop - October 25 - November 3, 2008

Retablos from the Random

by Michael deMeng

One of the most amazing things about Mexico is their knack for transforming the most mundane object into something interesting and artistic. In this art adventure we will be creating shrines using mixed media and found objects...found objects we find wandering through the Mexican town of Oaxaca...the shops, the vendors, the streets, the rooftops...wherever. Old shoes, rusty machine parts, license plates, who knows what we'll find and that is the adventure. Then, back in the class, we will assemble, collage, paint, etc. the work into fruition. I'll also show students how to make little saints, skeletons or diablos out of broken dolls or toys. Mexico is so rich in inspiration when it comes to shrines, that we'll explore a number of possible styles and designs including Nichos, Quadalupes, Ex Votos, Ofrendas and Retablos. Time to turn that trash into treasure. Oh, and don't worry, we'll still have time for margaritas...or better yet mescal.

Join Michael for a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is a beautiful, friendly, historical and culturally rich city in southern Mexico. Home to some of the finest folk artists in the world, Oaxaca abounds with ceramics, textiles, tin, wood carving, jewelry, and more. There is an exciting contemporary art and photography community based here also. The food and restaurants are exceptional and friendly people make it a pleasure to visit.

Throughout our 9-day stay people around the city will be getting ready for Dia de los Muertos. Every home and business will be setting up altars and preparing for the feast. The photo opportunities are endless. Each time you head out the door for the Zocalo or just a walk around the neighborhood something new will catch your attention. Flowers on the street corners, students in school altar competitions, book fair, traditional dancers, mariachis, and so much more!

Last year's group had a fantastic visit and workshop. We hope you can join us this year


October 25 (Saturday)

Arrive in Oaxaca and get settled after a long journey. Enjoy a walk to the Zocalo (town square) for dinner and sight seeing in the evening.

October 26 (Sunday)

Breakfast. Tour to Monte Alban and Atzompa. On a hilltop over looking the Oaxaca valley sits the majestic archeological site of Monte Alban. Our guide, Juan Montes, will explain the history of this sacred place.

We will visit the ceramic producing village of Atzompa and visit artists at work.

Lunch is included. Evening is free.

October 27 (Monday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 28 (Tuesday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 29 (Wednesday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10;00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 30 (Thursday)

Breakfast. 9:00 A.M. Tour to Zaachila, a small country market that focuses on animal sales. You too could own a pair of turkeys and some piglets.

We will also visit Santiago Apostal in Cuilapan. This huge Dominican monastery was begun in 1550 and never completed. Also in this area we will stop in Arrasola, home to some of Mexico's finest woodcarvers. A visit to their home studios is always a treat.

Lunch at a restaurant in the countryside. Evening free. The classroom is open if you want to work until 10:00P.M.

October 31 (Friday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Today is the last day to finish up those pieces and get ready for Michael's critique also known as the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tonight we will visit the XOXO cemetery. This is the first night of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. It is an amazing experience and a time to be very respectful of the people. Please ask before taking photographs.

November 1 (Saturday)

Breakfast. Today is a free day in Oaxaca. Visit the market, the museum, galleries, botanic gardens and everything you might have missed this week. Try to see it all. We will visit the city cemetery in the evening.

November 2 (Sunday)

Breakfast. Tour the sights along the Pan American highway. First a visit to the 2000-year-old ahuehuete (Montezuma cypress) El Tule tree. Young students from the local school will be practicing their guiding skills. Next, the Tlacolula market. One of the largest continuously held markets in Latin America. Hang onto your valuables; it can be very crowded. We will travel on to Mitla. This site contains some of the most beautiful and complex stone fretwork in Mexico. Lunch in Mitla. If time permits we will visit a small family owned mescal distillery.

Our last night in Oaxaca, enjoy!!!!

November 3 (Monday)

Breakfast. Fly away home.


Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Centro Historico Workshop classroom here also.

Included: Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 2 dinners. The cost of alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks and water is not included with meals.

Tours: 3 guided tours included.

Tour price: $2100. Per person double occupancy.

$2400. Per person single occupancy.

Deposit: $250 to secure your spot. Full payment is due September 10, 2008. Please pay by check; I am unable to process credit cards.

Colleen Darling

950 Ballard Canyon Rd.

Solvang CA 93463


Airfare is not included. When searching for airfares the Oaxaca code is OAX.

Responsibilities: Michael deMeng and Colleen Darling do not own or operate the hotel or any of the companies providing transportation for this tour. We assume no responsibility for delays, losses or accidents or damage to persons or property caused by any persons, firm, corporation or other legal entity providing the following services: hotel, restaurant, transportation or other services incidental to this workshop.


~Izabella said...


oh how I would love to attend~

wish I could go to Artfest too...I will be missing out yet another year~

if you have a moment can you come check out a little something I have on my blog for you ;)

xo ~Bella

Vickie said...

This looks fantastic. Hopefully I will see you in Mexico in the Fall.

peggy gatto said...

Thanks for the great workshops on fri. and sat. in danville! I am STILL adding a few thingies to my birthday cake. It is actually on the homepage of one of my groups and ,of course, on mu blog! I am looking foreward mexico.
peggy g

Fran Meneley said...

Hey Micheal - It's wonderful you'll be offering this fantastic workshop again. I just posted some of my journal pages from last year's trip and mentioned your blog for people to learn more about the 2008 adventure. It sounds like you've had a great winter down under (sorry to here about the thievery), and a busy spring. Take care and thanks again for the Oaxacan adventure! Fran

Psychodiva said...

hope you don't mind- I have awarded you a 'you make my day' blog award- you can pick it up from my blog- or not :) or i can e-mail you the pic if you want to display it- just enough for you to know that you inspire me :)

katie said...

jeeze this sounds wonderful, michael - a workshop with you in oaxaca! i wishhhhhhh i could go, i do, i do, i know it's going to be wonderful... i'll be teaching in houston during that time though so i have to miss it, phoey!
i'll be seeing you at artfest though, and it's coming right up, fast.

Yoli M said...

Sounds Magical!