The Armory Show and Tell

Event Location: The Armory Center For the Arts
145 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, Ca 91103

When:                Friday, August 2, 2013
12:45 -1:45 pm
in the Caldwell Gallery

Come join Hataya Tubtim and Michelle Glass as we make painted seed Ofrendas at the Armory Center For the Arts in Pasadena. Our workshop takes place on Friday August 2, from 12:45 -1:45 pm and is open to all ages so bring the whole family!  This event is part of the Armory’s Show and Tell series of workshops/lectures throughout July and August.

The rural community of Arvin, Ca, is a small town 15 miles southeast of Bakersfield with a population of apprx. 19,000 people (U.S. Census 2010).  Those who have lived there for generations can recall a time when the surrounding, rolling hills of Arvin, were covered with the myriad, brilliant colors of wildflowers. Today, the hills are not nearly as lush, declining for generations due to agricultural incursion, drought, and pollution.

For Armory Show and Tell, Michelle and Hataya would like to invite participants to create painted seed Ofrendas that will be planted in Arvin. Participants will create an ‘offering’ to the land by painting their own personalized messages and images on patches made of biodegradable, non-woven, non-toxic cellulose material. The yogurt-derived paint is infused with the seeds of wild poppies that once grew in abundance on the landscape. After completing their paintings, participants will choose a location on a map of Arvin where they would like their seed Ofrendas placed.  Hataya and Michelle will take the offerings to Arvin and stake them into the chosen site, where over time they will deteriorate, releasing the seeds to germinate into the landscape. Traditionally, an Ofrenda is an offering made to returning souls. In recent history a number of efforts have been made to address environmental conditions in the region and to reseed Arvin’s hills to their former glory. By placing new seeds and good wishes into the landscape, these offerings represent the hope of restoring the many colors that once existed there.

Each Ofrenda’s growth cycle will be documented in photographs and field notes that will be posted on the DeColores website, which archives the series of projects Michelle and Hataya have conducted in Arvin since 2011.



Dia De Los Muertos project with Arvin FRC

Last month, Michelle and I were back in Arvin to do more workshops for our community project. We also stopped by a local preschool to lead a short art project about upcoming Dia De LosMuertos in collaboration with the Arvin Family Resource Center. Here are some pictures from that fun class.

Adults and parents  helped the children make colorful hats out of paper, then used sequins, ribbons, and other materials to design their hats

One student proudly shows us his process.

The children wear their colorful creations!

At the Family Resource Center

The Arvin Family Resource Center provides valuable support to parents, children, and other community members. We are fortunate to be working with more warm and generous people. Last Friday, Michelle and I arrived with snacks and supplies, and gathered more story triangles for our imminent sculpture piece. Here are some pictures of participants’ work. We will definitely be back at the Family Resource Center again soon.

Amalia is ironing her image transfers

A family composition in process

Michelle and Kari do some image adjustments

Daisy helps her mother with their family story

Collaging images of day to day life

Our youngest participant is full of great ideas

Leon-Perez Family