This year’s Dia de los Muertos celebration and art event at the Folk Tree is bittersweet. Like every year for the past ten, I can’t wait to see what Gail Mishkin has done with the place. When I dropped off my “Lost at Sea” skeleton mermaid mirror a couple of weeks ago, the walls were bare and new artwork was only starting to trickle in. Since then, Gail has posted teasers on facebook, but nothing prepares you for the shock of seeing the final transformation from complete chaos to a self-contained world of wonder. How she packs so much disparate artwork…everything from t-shirts and jewelry to floor-to-ceiling altars…into a coherent vision, is a mystery to me, except that I know it requires a lot of hard work, brain-power and creativity. And she has to work fast. Somehow, Gail manages to do all this with grace, humor and a kind heart. I will always be grateful to Gail for taking me on seven years ago, a complete unknown. Since then, she has sold many of my works at the Folk Tree and shown even more that she probably knew would never sell. (Art for art’s sake is a costly sacrifice for a small gallery/store that must sell to stay in business.) I know I am only one of many appreciative artists who have relied on Gail and the Folk Tree to get our work out into the world.

The 31st Annual Day of the Dead show at the Folk Tree is bittersweet, because it probably will be its last. Rocky, the owner of the Folk Tree, is ailing and Gail announced that she will be working full-time at another wonderful independent institution The Flintridge Bookstore. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that these folks throw a good party. I hope you can join me to celebrate what might be adios to Dia de los Muertos at the Folk Tree this Saturday from 2-6 PM. If you can’t make the reception, come see the show any time before November 2nd.

The Folk Tree is located on The Folk Tree 217 S. Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, CA.

Phone: (626) 795-8733

Check out this recent article in the Los Angeles Beat: The Rocky Road to the Folk Tree.

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