Offerings: The Altar Show
Social and Public Arts Resource Center (SPARC)
December 1984—February 1985
“For me, the altar is not an art piece. It’s not like a painting, drawing or sculpture. It’s more a part of my life. It’s an expression of what I believe. I started making altars when I was dancing with Flores de Aztlan, a dance troupe. As a danzanie, you create a circle to dance around. This circle is an altar. This led me to altar-making. My work comes out my ceremonial experience as a danzante.
“My altars deal with the harmony and unity among all things. My prayer is the unity of all things and all nations. What many people aren’t aware of or don’t want to acknowledge is that there is a Chicano-Indio artistic and spiritual movement. I am part of it. I try to extend the way of the spirit with others. I want to create a warming, balanced, harmonious environment. By doing this I hope to bring out the unity among all people. The last time I made a public altar people expressed positive feelings about it, so I felt I could make another altar.
“I’m not getting this out of the air; I’m not just fabricating this. This altar is not just about me. I want to share the lessons I’ve learned from indigenous culture. I am an artist. I have my own art and work in my studio. This altar is not my art, this is my prayer for the future and for the future generations.”
Artists included: Amalia Mesa-Bains, Akemi Uchiyama, Linda Vallejo, Terry Wolverton.