Artist Toby Morfin, fresh from his solo exhibit in Santa Fe, has curated his 17th Annual Dia de los Muertos Fine Art Show, which begins Friday in Truchas. Courtesy photo
A piece by artist Erin Currier features in the show. Courtesy photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
“Truchas! What a great place to hold the 17th Annual Dia de Los Muertos Fine Art Show,” artist and show curator Toby Morfin said. “The venue, Truchas Peaks Place, is amazing with incredibly beautiful scenery around it.”
Morfin has put together 17 shows around Northern New Mexico where the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) traditions are alive and well. Over the years he has also put on these fine art shows in Espanola, Santa Fe, Taos, Truchas and at the Poeh Museum in Pojoaque.
“The annual show has certainly moved around. I try to pick a different destination every year, said Morfin. “I like to include not only the more renowned artists and the accomplished artists but to have someone that’s starting off and a youth artist to encourage them to keep going. It’s part of my background and it’s something that’s important to me – being in the community and being able to showcase all ranges of work.”
He has found that emerging artists and youth artists do beautiful work too.
“It’s nice for them to have somewhere to show their work. It gives them chance – that’s what I like. You’ve got to give everyone a chance. Everyone has to start somewhere so I think it’s a good starting point for a lot of artists. I’ve helped out so many artists throughout the 17 years with this show by showcasing probably more than 100 artists in all,” Morfin said.
Most of the artists in the Dia de Los Muertos show in Truchas are from Northern New Mexico but there are also artists traveling from California, Arizona, Pueblo, Colo. and further afield.
“This year, the list includes Kevin Urban, the renowned tattoo artist from Albuquerque, who is also a great fine artist. I have an artist from Pueblo, Colorado named Carlos Sandoval. Kevin Urban, the tattoo artist from Albuquerque who is also a great fine artist. A few of the artists have shown with me before in my Dia de Los Muertos show but a lot of them have never shown with me before. I try to bring in new blood every year and not just keep the same artists every year because I want it to be diverse and give other artists a chance to show their Day of the Dead work”
Morfin said the show has been very popular over the years.
“The tradition comes from the Mexico and the United States has pretty much commercialized it and thrown a twist on it,” he said. “I like doing this show because it’s clean, I hang it very professionally and showcase these artists the way they should be showcased.
The work is all across the board from sculpture to jewelry. Cody Sanderson, a world-renowned Native American jeweler is in this year’s show. A lot of his work features skulIs so it goes right with the show. I also have Cara Romero, a photographer who just showed at the Met in New York.
“She’s Native American also. It’s cool to bring in that culture and showcase their work as well,” Morfin said.
‘Yemiki” by Cara Romero is featured in artist/curator’s Dia de Los Muertos Fine Art Show. Courtesy photo
Romero’s work called “Yemiki”, Little Death, features Crystal Clara Xochiti Zamora from Albuquerque in traditional Dia de los Muertos regalia and painting of her family. Romero is an enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe. She maintains close ties with her ancestral homelands through her art as well as telling stories of cultural memory, collective histories and auto biography.
Artist Erin Currier is somewhat of a world traveler who has been drawn to places such as Nepal, Nicaragua, Turkey and Venezuela but she inevitably returns to her Santa Fe studio to create a series of work.
How does Morfin find these artists?
“They’re just friends that I’ve shown with and come across over the years. With doing museum shows I’ve crossed paths with them and so I was able to get them to be in my show by just reaching out and asking them. The Dia de los Muertos shows are always different because of the diversity of the artists.
A distinctive Dia de los Muertos work by Toby Morfin. Courtesy photo
The show opens Friday, Oct. 27 and will continue through Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday evening there will be a special dining event at Truchas Peaks Place in conjunction with the art show, featuring an exclusive four-course dinner by renowned Chef Fernando Ruiz, a three-time Food Network Champion. Cocktail hour begins promptly at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Espanola, which has been serving the community for more than 30 years. Only 50 tickets were available for the unique dining experience. Call Morfin at (505) 919-9288.
Each ticket holder will receive a ticket for a drawing for a one-of-a-kind, large plate painted by Morfin. The drawing will take place following the dinner.
Truchas Peaks Place is located at 1671 NM 76 in Truchas.
A chance to win a plate painted by artist/curator Toby Morfin will be given to those who attend a special dinner at Truchas Peaks Place in conjunction with the 17th Dia de los Muertos Fine Art Show Friday. Courtesy photo