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The 1998 Altar Show

The Center for the Arts : Grass Valley, California

Opening Ceremony Altar

Opening Ceremony Altar

An Altar For Davina

"An Altar For Davina"
by Teddy Kell

An altar for Davina.
She showed me how to do it -
and sometimes how not to do it -
through maidenhood, motherhood, and cronehood.
At the last she said, 'Teddy! How soon can I fly?'
...and she flew.

Remember The People

"Remember The People"
by Sandy Keller

Being Seneca Iroquois and raised with the Miwok Maidu people,
gave me great respect for
all tribes of people in my heart.
I wish to share this reflection with you.

In Honor Of Desecrated Altars

"In Honor Of Desecrated Altars"
by Stan Padilla

The earliest altars were earth mounds dedicated to our connection with the earth and cosmos.
This altar has been built to continue this tradition and to honor the desecrated and forgotten altars since those times.
My hope is that the new altar makers will help to bring spiritual justice for our ancestors.

A Time To Say Goodbye

"A Time To Say Goodbye"
by Judy Nichols

A crowd of grieving caterpillars was carrying a dead cocoon to its final resting-place. The poor caterpillars were weeping and broken hearted; but all the while the lovely butterfly fluttered over their heads.

Rio de Vida

"Rio de Vida"
by Jenny Larson

I find at this point in my life I have as many (friends and family) dead as alive.
Letting go of them has helped me let go of a lot of things.
Each passing reacquaints me with the catharsis of grief.
Death is seductive and intriguing.
My experience with it so far has been bittersweet -
a benchmark for intense sadness and euphoric relief.

Janet Marchant

Janet Marchant

I chose collage as a means of sharing the images of strangeness,
beauty and 'strange beauty' -
which surround our daily lives through the miracle of photography.
Enhancing photographs with paint can make us pause and 'see' their unique living messages.

Jack Richardson

Jack Richardson

"If, on a clean canvas, I put at intervals patches of blue, green and red, with each touch that I lay on, each of those put there previously loses in importance."
Henri Matisse

The Listening Ear Labyrinth

"The Listening Ear Labyrinth:
An Altar of Participation"
by Be Davison Herrera

This is a unicursal adventure in exploring the gift of the major sense,
that of hearing and it's tools, the human ears.
Walk the path and stop to hear, to listen.

Honoring Stillness

"Honoring Stillness"
by John Mowen

Moving down
through the exploration of stillness,
Silence reveals an elemental language,
The poetry of the Soul.
These sweet sounds of wisdom
offer Blessing.
A humbling,
A holding,
And a peace.

The Healing Woman Altar

"The Healing Woman Altar"
by The Healing Woman

This altar is in honor of everyone who summons their strength to remember and face a history of childhood sexual abuse. It celebrates honesty, humor, community, and a clear heart, even, or perhaps especially, when those basic human gifts are developed through pain.

To Honor The Divinities

"To Honor The Divinities"
by Rachel Hanson Stonecipher
and Carol Gilbert-Wagner

Marina Bokelman

Marina Bokelman
Put yourself on the altar. Remember who you are.
Healer and Artist of the Invisible
An Altar is sacred space where prayers are made visible. Take a deep breath.
Come into your heart. Look into the mirror.
Love yourself. Bless yourself with light.
Release whatever no longer serves you.
Come into your deepest heart.
Pray for yourself.
Look into the mirror.
Love who you see.

Nevada City School for the Arts with Judy Rosenthal

Nevada City School for the Arts
with Judy Rosenthal

Oneness, Simplicity and Playfulness

"Oneness, Simplicity and Playfulness"
by Sandra Genochio

Feel free to move the rocks and use the rake to make your own design in the sand.
This altar remembers and honors our own personal cycles and the feeling of connection and oneness with nature; the earth and sky; and our fellow travelers

Into The Beyond

"Into The Beyond"
by David H. Haight

Behind each mask,
Time's face flickers as we take one step beyond,
tasting Life's greatest adventure saved for each and every man and woman.
Expanding through the Cosmos listening with wondrous love -
letting fearsome Guilt drop away -
we become truly childlike,
transformed once again.

Up Home

"Up Home"
by Jean Roach

My Father, Tom Roach, frequently brought us "up home" to visit Aunt Maggie on East Broad Street in Nevada City, to wander the William Tell claim on Osborne Hill, on to the Cuddehey claim out next to the Empire on Highway 174, past the site of my grandfather's "place of business" the Great Northern Saloon on Mill Street, and finally out where everybody is "up home" in Saint Patrick's Cemetary.

The Feminine Qualitites In You

"The Feminine Qualitites In You"
by Maya Hill

The concern and joy of the artist is to call forth the female qualities of ourselves, to recognize the feminine energetics in all things and to be in reverence of all-encompassing mother. The process of creation from earth's clay to sacred beauty and grace and to pass this expression on is awesome.


by Nevada Union High School Students
with John Slovonic

A crowd of grieving caterpillars was carrying a dead cocoon to its final resting-place. The poor caterpillars were weeping and broken hearted; but all the while the lovely butterfly fluttered over their heads.

Remembering Indigenous Peoples

"Remembering Indigenous Peoples"
by Kathryn Smith and Jeremiah Raven

Smoke from ancient tribal fires drifted heavenward, mingled with the sounds of children's laughter. Now...all that remains are cold, black ashes. We chose to honor the indigenous people of this land with objects of nature's beauty, in remebrance of thier love and appreciation of nature.

Madrone - Unconditional Love

"Madrone - Unconditional Love"
by Robyn Madrona

John Hensley

by John Hensley
In Memory of Dorthy Gabriel Mc Ewen Gale
1947-1997 Grass Valley Teacher for 25 years
Teacher, friend, smiling soul, so much to so many.
A rainbow of light was the earthly gift that Dottie brought to this universe.
A truly giving person that created laughter and warmth to all that she touched.
She cared for the children & animals with deep love and compassion.
She is truly missed, but remains alive within us all -

Buddha and Sakti

"Buddha and Sakti"
by Nan Decker and Bruce Doan

With you, Beloved, I am a beginner
All   Ways.
Buddha, Sakti
Ever expanding pools of loving.   Delicious quiet.
Embrace me! Sweetness and silence.
Remembrance of deep joy within the core of my being.
I am yours!
So Softly I embrace you.
Ferocious and tender
Divine Union

The Burning Times

"The Burning Times"
by Christine Irving & Michelle Anglin

They killed us by the millions:
for being
young, old, rich, poor, pale, dusky, ugly, fair, quiet, loud,
feisty, meek, smart, stupid, neat, slovenly, sweet, sour, pious,
profane, industrious, lazy, promiscuous, celibate, monogamous,
adulterous, happy, sad, angry, mild,
for being girls, maidens, mothers, spinsters, crone
for being women

Descansos De Mi Corazón

"Descansos De Mi Corazón"
by Linda Puffer

I have loved and lost some
of what I most wanted to keep-
parents, lovers, friends, dreams- remembered always in my Heart,
these resting places,
descansos posted on the unfolding map of my life's journey,
this landscape of memory
where Spirit was and is set free.

An Altar To Lyme Disease

"An Altar To Lyme Disease"
by Annie Hughes

To heal the emotional pain, free myself from the horror and the dread, and to honor what I have lost and gained through the experience.

Children In My Life

"Children In My Life"
by Meg Hughes

Over the years there have been a lot of children in my life that I have had special and unique relationships with. As these relationships change, some ending, there is a place in my heart for each of them. This altar is to recall and honor.

Betty, Celeste, Harley,<BR>Louise, Lola, and Sunny

"Betty, Celeste, Harley, Louise, Lola, and Sunny"
by Beverly Trump Dittberner

My mother-n-law Betty loved her son so much she left this earth on his birthday.
My friend Celeste, my grandfather Harley and my grandmothers Louise & Lola all left during their dream time.
Sunny, our family pet was in so much pain my dad asked the angels to come for her, and they did.

Skeletons At The Feast

"Skeletons At The Feast"
by Maureen Gilmer

An expression of love of ancestors and patron saint Guadalupe. Combining the Aztec religion of death and flowers and Catholic ritual of saints and crucifixion, it is a sacrament of Latin culture for age-old Feast of All Souls.


by Gwen Oaks

These are the old ones. They are our ancestors who taught us so much.
They are like us.
We are like them. We belong to each other. I honor them.
I cry for them.
I pray for their survival.

Book Bag Ladies and Darryl

Book Bag Ladies
and Darryl

As a group and as individuals we recognize and honor the place of books in our past and in our future lives. At the same time we watch the enervation, the passing, the usurpation of their places by the computer and other media. Here's to the leavening, revolutionary, catholic, binding influence of books!

Oneness Of All People - Universal Spirit, which is Love

"Oneness Of All People -
Universal Spirit, which is Love"
by The Church of the Essence

Awakening to who you are, promoting love, healing and peace for all beings,
transforming negativity and judgement by opening to the power of the heart.
In loving remembrance and celebration of Faith Havard, minister and founder of Church of the Essence.

Colfax Arts Council

Colfax Arts Council
"Blight" to "Light"
Burning Buildings
Downtown Colfax -
the "remains"...
vacant lots, weeds & graffiti.
"Walk past, don't look."
Winds of Change
new thoughts, new possibilities...
Local artists provide the vision -
community spirit makes it real.
celebrates the vision!

Between Father Sky and Mother Earth

"Between Father Sky and Mother Earth"
by Willem De Groot

Altar is the place between Father Sky and Mother Earth. A place where spirit and matter meet. A place we can use to access the realm of spirit.

Mary Altar

"Mary Altar"
by Beverly Trump Dittberner

Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin,
Holy Mary, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, The Virgin Mary.
I call her the Ultimate Mom. She is my guide, my connection to spirit, my hope for the planet.
I remember her here, with love and humor, gratitude and heart.

Menlo MacFarlane & Reese

Menlo MacFarlane & Reese
Menlo & Reese started their voyage with a couple of flying houses,
    some big black birds, a dog named Rembrandt and a boat.
They stuffed the boat with feathers for ballast,    and tuned their friendship toward ritual.
There was a rustling among the dead,    the waves were like clouds,
    the water like air,
    for a compass they used the holy hobo prayer: "I don't know what I am looking for, but I know I'm looking for something, and I only hope to recognize it when I find it."

Oh Yeah

"Oh Yeah"
by Rianne, Anton and Ben Lovett

This altar gives tribute to all the musicians
who sing from their vulnerable hearts beneath.
From the collection of Alan Lovett (1946-1984)
A vital part of his life was to play piano and listen
    To music.

Peace Altar

"Peace Altar"
by Be Davison Herrera

An offering of light, a quiet place for reflecting on strength, courage and integrity on our planet, not necessarily of it.