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Festivals in the City of Angels: Make Your Own Calaca Workshop

The Fowler has partnered with Self-Help Graphics & Art to celebrate Día de los Muertos with an art workshop inspired by the Fowler’s collection of Felipe Linares’ cartonerías—sculptured objects made from papier-mâché. Artist William Acedo will teach you how to make your own calaca cartonería (papier-mâché skeleton) out of household materials in this 5-part workshop. Make sure to give yourself 4-5 days for this art activity.

Click HERE for the list of tools and materials.

Part 1: We Prepare the Basic Form

Part 2 (11:55): Shaping the Body with Newspaper and Tape

Part 3 (28:38): Arms, Legs, Hands, and Feet

Part 4 (33:05): Learn the Papier-mâché Process

Part 5 (39:28): Decorate

Want to learn more? Join us Friday, October 23, for a conversation on calacas cartonerías with William Acedo and master craftsmen Norma and Edgar Coronado. RSVP here.

Self-Help Graphics & Art is the leading non-profit visual arts center serving the Latino community of Los Angeles. Founded in 1970 in the heart of East Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics & Art is dedicated to the production, interpretation, and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latinx artists. Their multidisciplinary, intergenerational programs promote artistic excellence and empower our community by providing access to space, tools, training, and capital.

William Acedo is a member of Self-Help Graphics & Art’s Artists’ Roundtable. Besides printing, he assists with the popular calavera papier-mâché workshops and the annual Día de los Muertos celebrations. His detailed, narrative woodcut prints can be found in the permanent collections of LACMA, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, and in the private collection of Cheech Marin.

Festivals in the City of Angels

This initiative connects the museum programs with communities across the city in order to better understand manifestations of lived religions in Los Angeles and support local expressions of global faiths.

Image credit: Leonardo Linares Vargas (b. 1963, Mexico City, Mexico); El Catrín y La Catrina (The Dapper Gentleman and Elegant Lady), 1987; Papier-mâché and ostrich feather; Fowler Museum at UCLA X87.1333, X87.1334; Gift of Robert V. Childs.

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