This week, in conjunction with “Celebrate Our Local Artists” month, Casa de Solana is proud to exhibit Day of the Dead Art by Tina Verduzco, an assemblage artist and long-time St Augustine resident.
A lot of people are unfamiliar with the Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos) concept. It is not meant to be creepy or Halloween-ish or represent evil in any way. It is a national holiday in Mexico (and celebrated in other Latin countries) on November 1 and 2, which of course corresponds with the Catholic holy days All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The holiday brings family and friends together to pray for and remember their deceased loved ones.
Tina, of Mexican descent, when asked why skulls and skeletons are a prominent part of her work in particular, she replied ” In our culture, we believe that as long as someone alive remembers you, you are never truly gone. My work is a constant reminder not just to exist but to live.”
For centuries now, folk art expressions have become a regular part of the Day of the Dead celebration, to include magnificently-decorated skulls. In particular, the Catrina depicts an elegant skull and/or skeleton of an upper class woman and is one of the more mainstream figures as made popular by José Guadalupe Posada, a famous Mexican cartoonist, illustrator, and artist. Other celebratory pieces include the candelabra, trees of life, and attractive-appearing skeletons. Artists transform wood, clay, tin, and paper into just spectacular Day of the Dead sculptures.
Tina utilizes torch art in her Day of the Dead pieces, i.e., a burnt paper technique using a gel medium. If you’d like to step into Tina’s wonderful art world of water ferries, mermaids, shrine and spirit boxes and other fun stuff, visit her at Casa de Luna Sea. She lives in a little cottage near the beach, and her garden studio is a magical place that’s all about imagination and fun! She is a licensed tour guide in St. Augustine. Originally from Iowa, she comes from a linage of gypsies, psychics, and Native Americans. She studied with psychic Kay Mora (Kaimora) and is a consulting hypnotist specializing in past life regression. She has been featured on the Bio Channel’s My Ghost Story, Northeast Florida Paranormal’s webcast and is a member of Spirit Seekers based in Orlando. Co-author of the young adult historic novel Storm and the Mermaid’s Knot, a coming-of-age fantasy about a young mermaid in St. Augustine. She volunteers at the famous historical St Augustine Lighthouse.
Although we only get to display her work at Casa for the week, you can see her work anytime at Simple Gestures (4 White Street) on the Island. Tina is also co-owner of the paranormal events company, 2Ghouls, which will be hosting Casa’s very first Parlor Games Series every Friday night in October from 8 to 10 pm. Participants will enjoy exclusive use of Casa’s dining room and new parlor as they learn about tea leaf reading, pendulum dowsing, the spirit board, and the similarities between modern-day metaphysics and age-old superstitions. Participation is limited, so get your tickets now for that! You can participate regardless of whether you rent a room, but if you would like to a room, be sure to visit our specials page, many of which expire on 10/14 (such as stay Friday & Saturday at regular rate and add Thursday or Sunday FREE, any room!).