Published on November 2nd, 2016 | by Nico Young0
Retablos from “Dia de los Muertos” Art Show
This year’s Dia de los Muertos Art show opened in the Roberts Art gallery on Thursday, and features over 40 Retablos from Amy Bouse’s art students. Bouse has assigned her students to create pieces in the Retablo tradition for the annual art show for over a decade. The project emulates a practice done in Latin American folk art; students are tasked with making a painting of devotion.
“I like that it asks students to think about something they’re grateful for, because it’s much easier to think about the negative,” Bouse said,
Retablo was originally used in the Catholic church for altarpieces, depicting conventional devotional figures or ex-votos, acts of divine intervention. Upon its contemporary revival in the 1930s, however, the subject matter was brought to reflect themes of everyday life–harvests, markets and fiestas.
Art student Adrien Rangel (’17) used the assignment as an opportunity to pay homage to his loved ones. He painted two Retablos for the show, one as a dedication to his friend Kimberly and another (pictured above) of him and his boyfriend, which doubled as an anniversary gift.
“I wanted the color palette to represent the feelings of the painting,” Rangel said. “So he’s very lovey dovey and for me it’s kind of awkward.”
Rangel’s work is currently installed in the in the Dia de los Muertos show, among many other artists not featured here. The show contains artwork by Elementary and Middle school students, alongside the work of Samo students.