Tuesday, January 07, 2014

deMeng de los Muertos 2014

Well it's that time of year when again…time for me to announce the annual deMeng de los Muertos workshop, where we head to Mexico to celebrate the Day of of the Dead.  Here's what's in store:

The Workshop:

Plumed Serpents and Moon Goddesses in the Land of the Dead

Every time I return to Oaxaca something magical happens. In fact I know that more than a few people who have followed me down to this ancient land have experienced something that has touched their soul.  Perhaps it is the richness of artistic tradition, or the kindness of the people or maybe it is the time of year, after all experiencing Dia de los Muertos is certainly a moving experience emotionally as well as visually.   I suspect it is something more.   This is a land with deep layers of history; where cultures meet and collide and a place where old gods linger even after being vanquished by the new ones.   Here, history is alive and where even the very ancient feels ever so present.

In honor of the mystical, magical quality of Oaxaca, I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the myths and legends from Mexican culture.  The gods are wondrous strange and the tales are even stranger.  So for this class we will create assemblage constructions that represent a specific deity or myth from the region.   It will be a bit of free for all…you can create whatever you like but with a theme in mind.  To help you out I will start sending out stories about the various gods and heroes for a bit of inspiration.  Quetzacoatl (the rain god), Mictlantecuhtli (the god of the underworld), and Coyolxauhqui (the moon goddess) are awaiting your arrival.

A message from the organizer Colleen Darling:
Join Michael for a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Dia de los Muertos is one of the most beautiful celebrations in all of Mexico and Oaxaca is one of the best places to experience it firsthand.  Oaxaca is a delightful, welcoming, historical, and culturally rich city in southern Mexico.  The city is home to some of the finest folk artists in the world and abounds with ceramics, textiles, tin, woodcarvings, jewelry, and more.  There is also an exciting contemporary art and photography community based here.   The restaurants, luscious food, and friendly people make Oaxaca an amazing place to visit.

Throughout our 9-day stay, people around the city will be getting ready for Dia de los Muertos with every home and business setting up ofrendas and preparing for the feast. The city is buzzing with excitement that spills into the streets.   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 competing in school ofrenda competitions, comparsas (parades) winding through the streets with traditional dancers, village bands and so much more!

We hope you can join us this year!


October 25th (Saturday) - Arrival day in Oaxaca.  It takes all day for the various flights to arrive so we don’t have any big plans.  Just get there and start enjoying the city after a long journey.  Take a walk to the Zocalo (main square) for dinner and sight seeing in the evening.

October 26th (Sunday) - Breakfast.  Tour to the archeological site of Monte Alban, the sacred place of the Zapotec and Mixtec people. Get acquainted with the city, walk around the Zocalo (main square) enjoy lunch and take the afternoon free to explore.  Lots of museums open on Sunday.  Welcome dinner

October 27th (Monday) - Breakfast.  Class begins at 10:00 A.M.  Break for lunch, back to the workshop.  Late afternoon and evening free

October 28th (Tuesday) - Breakfast.  Class begins at 10:00 A.M Break for lunch, back to the workshop.  Late afternoon and evening free 

October 29th (Wednesday) - Breakfast.  Tour day departing at 9:00 A.M.  We will visit Studio Xaquixe a glass recycling center known for it beautiful mezcal bottles and other works of art in glass.  Next stop will be the Etla market and then on to San Agustin Etla where we will tour the handmade paper mill at Vista Hermosa (a former textile mill, now an arts center). Lunch in the countryside.  Evening free.

October 30th (Thursday) - Breakfast.  Workshop.  Lunch.  Class resumes.   Evening free.

October 31st (Friday) - Breakfast.  Class begins at 10:00 A.M.  Break for lunch, back to the workshop.  This is the first night of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.  We will visit the San Miguel city cemetery.  Throughout the city an amazing party is taking place.

November 1st (Saturday) - Breakfast.   Final day of class.  Get ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Lunch.  Afternoon is free.  We will visit the Santa Maria Atzompa cemetery to in the evening.  

November 2nd (Sunday) - Breakfast.   Optional tour to Mitla archeological site, Teotitlan del Valle and the Tule tree, or spend your last day in the city enjoying beautiful Oaxaca.  In the evening we will visit San Felipe, a gorgeous small cemetery with a farewell dinner to follow.        

November 3rd (Monday) - Breakfast   Fly away home
 Airfare is not included.  When searching for airfares the Oaxaca code is OAX.

 Included: Workshop, hotel, 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 2 dinners, and tours with an English speaking guide.

Shared Double    $1950
Single                   $2300

Deposit:  $250 to secure your spot.   Please pay by check

To reserve your spot contact:

Colleen Darling