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Inspired Art Marks Day of the Dead

  • Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Madison, Wis. (September 23, 2014) - Edgewood College welcomes artist Carolyn Kallenborn’s immersive gallery installation, a community altar project and an evening festival premiering her new film, all inspired by her experiences of Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Since 2004, UW-Madison Professor Carolyn Kallenborn has worked with artisans in the central valleys of Oaxaca. The inspiration for her sculptural works, video and installations has come from the rich exchange of ideas and culture through collaborations, teaching and learning with the Oaxacan artisans.

Kallenborn has exhibited her sculptural textile installations both nationally and internationally including the Mueso Textil de Oaxaca and Polytechnic Institute of Hong Kong. She is the creator and producer of Woven Lives, an internationally acclaimed documentary film that celebrates the art of Zapotec weavers in Oaxaca. The film was released in 2011 and continues to be been shown in museums, universities and conferences all over the world.

Day of the Dead Celebrations
Exhibition: La Luz y Sombra (The Light and Shadow)
Edgewood College Gallery, September 26 through November 7 with an opening reception on Friday, September 26, from 5-7:30 p.m.

Carolyn Kallenborn’s La Luz y Sombra is an immersive gallery exhibition featuring an integrated installation of handmade textiles and video projections from La Vida y Los Muertos.

“The beautiful video imagery from Day of the Dead in Oaxaca floats as projection through multiple layers of fabric, each leaving traces of shadows upon the layer behind. Walking through and between the layers, visitors are surrounded by the light and imagery of the video. As they walk towards the light or towards the darkness, their own shadows become a part of the installation. Music and sounds of the villages, synchronized with the imagery, fill the senses, creating a surreal environment in celebration of the Day of the Dead,” she said.

Visitors may enter the gallery at any time during the film’s 30-minute loop, which makes each person’s experience unique, yet equally powerful.


Exhibition: Remembrance and Celebration
On display in the atrium of The Stream from October 3 through November 7 with a reception on Friday, October 3, from 5-9 p.m.

Remembrance and Celebration is a community project inspired by family altar making and grave decorating traditions of Oaxaca. This community art event developed by Kallenborn and gallery director David Wells features personal altar boxes created by more than 175 individuals and groups from Madison. The boxes were built by students at Edgewood College. Participants turn them into personal altars in memory of someone who has passed away. Each altar will have its own personality and voice with the cumulative voices blended into a hymn of homage.

Event: Film Premiere of La Vida y Los Muertos and Day of the Dead Festival
This celebration on Saturday, November 1, features the premiere of La Vida y Los Muertos, a visually rich art film capturing the beauty, the joy, the sadness, and the magic of the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca. A candlelight procession with larger-than-life puppets, music by the UW-Madison World Percussion Ensemble and the Forward Marching Band, and dancing by Danztrad, a traditional Mexican dance group, will wind through campus between screenings of the film.

Following the procession, the Day of the Dead Celebration will continue in the atrium of The Stream with food, drink, music, and dance until 11 p.m. Screenings of La Vida y Los Muertos are scheduled for 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Diane Ballweg Theatre.

Edgewood College Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday from Noon-4pm. The Stream Atrium is open during regular building hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About the Edgewood College Gallery

The Edgewood College Gallery’s mission is to promote the Visual Arts program and the Permanent Collection of Edgewood College through quality exhibitions and educational programs. 

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