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The 1999 Altar Show

The Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, California

La Vida Y La Muerte

"La Vida Y La Muerte"
by Los De Rio Oso

No Bull

"No Bull"
by Tucker Braga & Miriam Morris

Lost Manuscripts

"Lost Manuscripts"
by Christine Irving

Somewhere, a handwritten manuscript
slides beneath a floorboard,
police break down the door,
rats eat it.
Sometimes a man dies alone,
his journals go out with the garbage;
nobody reads them.
Someplace a library burns.
Down the street, a girl writes poems,
one by one, she buries them.

Kristin Elaine Liljequist

Kristin Elaine Liljequist

Dinner With Lydia

"Dinner With Lydia"
by Susan Cook Norrell

You can sit and appreciate her pottery, knowing the skills and experience that flowed through her fingers to form the pieces. Cross the table, you can continue your conversation and bring her up to date...with how her grandchildren are faring...the trip to France...the garden...the life that goes on.

Jessica's Life: Remembering our Daughter

"Jessica's Life: Remembering our Daughter"
by Mary Porter and Larry Douglass

She fought so hard
To die so soon.
All that beauty, love and caring
Lost forever to us all.
We want a phone call,
A visit or two.
A friend, a tree
The speed, the end.
We come to honor,
And hope to mend.

Life in Death and Death in Life

"Life in Death and Death in Life"
by Sandra Genochio

Honoring everyone, who remembers and faces death and birth with honesty and compassion.
Resting Places; Birthing Places; a stillness in the wind and humor in the heart.
Balancing dualities with the swaying tree of life near Bamboo melodies.
Laughing Skeletons asking for more Day of the Dead bread to add flesh to their bones as a deeper calm and lightness fills us up.

Remembering the People of Light

"Remembering the People of Light"
by Sandy Keller

Rianne Lovett

Rianne Lovett
The hot seat, the royal throne, the meditation one seat, the ringside seat. I invite you to experience it.

Hidden Heart of the Warrior

"Hidden Heart of the Warrior"
by Mary Tendall

There is a group of remarkable individuals among us with unspoken voices, combat veterans, whose lives and hearts have traveled an often painful and complex path.
There losses, protected by emotional barricades, have created in their hearts a deep longing for peace and joy.
Now, it is our time to listen quietly, to remember, and to experience the profound love and sorrow illuminated from within those hearts.

Laurence R. Shumaker

Laurence R. Shumaker

(this altar is contemporario; from the traditional with great respect.)
This memorial is windspill from the canvas of ancestors who sailed before me, tell-tale of tributes to tributes.
It is sand off the mountains and empty crates filled with the perfumes of forgotten melons.
It is tree-stump to the house in which I now live.

My Shrine to Mother Earth

"My Shrine to Mother Earth"
by Tamara Randi

For all the gifts and miracles we receive from our planet I have always been concerned about what we do as caretakers.
What are your choices?
How are you a good steward?
If you wish to share your idea write it on the piece of paper available and leave it in the basket.

Remembering Krista

"Remembering Krista"
by Alice Ebright

Caring for Comfort with Compassion

"Caring for Comfort with Compassion"
by Hospice Of The Foothills

HOSPICE is dedicated to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual quality of life for the terminally ill as well a continuing support for the caregivers and grieving family.


by Rachel Ariel Andersen

To consciously love a friend or foe,
just to love and to open one's heart
to every creature alive!
Just think what a wondrous place this planet would be!
As I have a great affinity with cats,
I find that they bring me great joy,
in their playfulness and character.
It is that feeling that brings me happiness. Love!

A Thousand Petaled Lotus

"A Thousand Petaled Lotus"
by Dana Lynne Anderson MA

We are made in the image of God
our true dimension cannot long be staid
within the confinement of time and space
the infinite itself will spring unbounded from our breast
from our heart grow the spaciousness of heaven
Grow from life's seed!
unfold from within
the mystery of a thousand pedals.

Thou and I are One

"Thou and I are One"
by Sarah Brink

"Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never: Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems."
The Bhagavad Gita, II:20, Sir Arnold's translation.


by Nevada Union's H.S. Amnesty Club

Children by nature and right are carefree and innocent.
Children are not meant to kill.
We are here to remember the young souls of children
who no longer have their childhood.


by Janelle Miller

This altar honors friendship and the peace and comfort found there in. I would like to remember the special relationships that have touched my heart and sheltered my soul.
"Friends are like the pillars on your porch; sometimes they support you, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it's just enough to know they're there."

An Altar for the Living

"An Altar for the Living"
by Aaron Braude

The feet that wore these shoes have walked many times and many miles to the beat of a different drummer. May this Altar motivate us to get up, on our own two feet and walk to the beat of PEACE, JUSTICE, FREEDOM and fundamental change in our economic and political system!!

Crystal Carlson

Crystal Carlson

The Survivor

"The Survivor"
by Paul Harrar

Late summer and autumn is a time of death - natural and unnatural - for many magnificent trees in the Sierra Nevada. My altar was inspired by my conflicting feelings about this time of destruction. This altar's elements represent incendiary transformation and the paradoxical associations of trees and humans with the powerful forces of fire. Fire creates and destroys, is desirable and dangerous, is domesticated and wild.

Nevada City School of Arts

Nevada City School of Arts

To Honor The Farmers And Fisherman That Feed Us

"To Honor The Farmers
      And Fisherman That Feed Us"
by Carine Jung Radspinner

What is an Altar?

"What is an Altar?"
by Beverly Trump Dittberner

An Altar is a portal. It is an invitation to enter another world. Objects that represent memories and emotions, honoring a person, place, or thing, are placed in positions that assist the Altar creator in completing a journey.
I believe tangible objects are processed by the analytical left brain; the emotions that we attach to objects, are processed by the creative right brain. When an Altar is created with this intent, there is a possibility of completion or even closure for the Altar maker.
You, as an observer, bring your own unique memories and emotions to the Altar. This makes it your Altar for that moment. For me, my paintings are like Altars. They allow me to complete journeys begun long ago.

Grizzly Hills School

Grizzly Hills School

Crossing the Great Water

"Crossing the Great Water"
by Margie Miller

A transition, orcrossing, is the passage between a state of mind or a stage of being. In dozens of cultures, water symbolizes transition. Nearly every descent into the underworld involves the crossing of an aquatic zone. Water forms the space of transition or place between. Crossing the Great Water explores this potent metaphor.

Positive Touch Altar

"Positive Touch Altar"
by Sharon Joy Johoda, Aro Veno, Dennis Cumberland & Willowfeather

We are four friends who feel committed to creating and encouraging more positive touch between all of us. Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. In acknowledging the vital, fundamental role that positive, ethical touch plays in our healthy lives, We encourage the use of our massage altar. Please take turns relaxing and gently touching your friends and family. Your touch is your gift. Breathe and be grateful.

Altar Of The Lost Self

"Altar Of The Lost Self"
by Misha Renclair MA

Components of this altar were constructed over the past six years. I offer these images to the public as witness, completing the cycle of creation and exorcism.
Misha Renclair, MA, is a mother, yoga instructor and art educator. She has lived in Nevada County for twenty years.

Christel Anderson

Christel Anderson
My divorce was like a death to me. My first painting was a pool of tears. I saw myself on a bridge wondering how I would transition out of darkness into the light. Then I met the one who had concurred death, and was transformed into a new and beautiful life.

any mailbox

"any mailbox"
by Aandra Aadcock

A delighted giver of refuge to our finetruthlies of
ununabbreviatedverbalattention, /.longtimepalwritetouch,
bloodextended"family"occasion approbation.
In/out from now.
To/from the landsbeyondabovebeneath.
where soulspirits mingledancescream in PAPERANDPEN.

Out of Silence

"Out of Silence"
by Eve Hall

My altar is usually in the Green House just outside my bedroom window, It is my reminder to be aware - to be awake and be in the moment.

Jivan Swann

Jivan Swann
The intent of my presentation:
To make a powerful but light hearted statement
about the state of our culture/lack of culture,
as we move towards the year 2000.
This altar is dedicated to the new culture
which is evolving from the ashes of a
severely decayed

Madre de Compasion

"Madre de Compasion"
by Jose Cuellar

The reason I have been moved to create an altar, is because I wanted to share my passion for the Dharma, or teachings of the Buddha. I also felt a calling of my heritage, my parents being born and raised in Mexico. It is with this intention that I present this labor of love.

Ezekiel Wheel

"Ezekiel Wheel"
by Be Herrera

This altar is to honor my God Parents who are also my grandparents, for their courage, their strength, their laughter and their love of me, who is the oldest of their grandchildren on both sides.
Bertha Effingham Lawrence Newton
(Health Educator) 1876-1972
Blake Tyler Newton
(Lawyer & Educator) 1889-1977
Katharine Janney Stonestreet Davison
(Pianist) 1879-1965
Charles Marshall Davison
(Insurance Executive) 1889-1975

Yuba River

"Yuba River"
by Melinda Kunkel, Tiffany Tomlinson & Erica Wood

An altar memorializing the beauty, freedom, and endangerment of the Yuba River.

Teddy Kell

Teddy Kell
All of my beloveds are falling off the earth,
taking with them my past -
their memories which balanced my memories
taking with them
their particular quirky, humorous,
morose, or optimistic viewpoints;
taking with them
their bodies, voices, and ways of standing
their patience, impatience, tact or bluntness
taking with them
pieces of me and my life.

Meg Hughes

Meg Hughes
  "To get the whole world out of bed
And washed, and dressed, and warmed, and fed,
   To work, and back to bed again,
Believe me, Saul, costs worlds of pain."
   The Everlasting Mercy by John Masefield

Annie Hughes and Megan Schwartz

Annie Hughes and Megan Schwartz
In memory of those friends who left us too soon.

Kat Barrie

Kat Barrie
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter -
Birth, Growth, Fading, Death -
the cycles of life turn, and we turn with them.
Autumn is the time of harvest,
of thanksgiving and of leavetaking.
We give thanks for that which we have reaped and gathered,
in preparation for the journey still to come.

by Adelphai

by Adelphai
The Underworld
by Sara Wilson
I am Persephone, wife of Hades,
Queen of the Dead in this dark Underworld.
He is my captor, my lover, my King
And I am worshipped with Him, at His side,
As the Mistress of Souls.
I am Hades, Aidoneus, the Invisible One,
Shelterer of those who have no home
But my dank and dismal rooms.
My childish consort
Has blossomed and matured into Her blood-red beauty:
The Lady of Darkness.
Hermes Psychopompos guides them here.
Together, Persephone and I welcome them,
The pitiable shades of the dead.
We ease their suffering and confusion
With offerings of milk and honey
And the bloody seeds of the pomegranate,
Food of the dead.
As the cold season turns, I plant the seed of Death in my Bride
Pregnant, She will leave me soon
To give birth to new life in the land of sun and sea,
The abundant and thriving land of Her Mother.
And I will shiver in the dark until She returns to me.

Last Time

"Last Time"
by Richard, Willow, and Mischa Murawski-Brown

When connected together the cycles of life create a spiral birth to death.
Life, love, pain, fear, hope, joy are part of this path we travel through the lives of others.
Rarely do we know when we have done something for the time...changing a diaper, feeding a child, eating dinner, making Love...
Last time I saw my mom she was radiant and at peace; laughing.
I thought I would see her again.

Remembering Aphrodite

"Remembering Aphrodite"
by Paul Sabin

The purpose of my altar is to honor the young Aphrodite in that conscious moment when she is aware of her beauty and divinity. She is accompanied by spirits from a neo-archaic reality.

Emma Cornell and The Asylum Universal Life Church

Emma Cornell
and The Asylum Universal Life Church

Many Mothers

"Many Mothers"
by Kathryn Napier Stull

The Mother has an infinite number of faces and moods. She's elaborate and generous, giving joy and sorrow in equal parts. It is with this inclusive intent that I offer this altar: lavishly, in adoration of all her forms.

The Skin Of The Mother

"The Skin Of The Mother"
by The Camptonville Qigong Group:
Georgeanne Savage, Yana Slade, Ruby Harvey and Barbara Dell

A woman's skin holds the images of birth, death and rebirth. Holding a basket filled with the earths gifts, she embraces the cycle of life. Her feet are buried in the sand, a place for you to build small honoring from rock and shell.

Self Altaring Transformation

"Self Altaring Transformation"
by Douglas Walker

The Art Room

"The Art Room"
by Nan Decker

Good morning, Children.
Step in.
Welcome to the Art Room.

Menlo MacFarlane & Judy Rosenthal

Menlo MacFarlane & Judy Rosenthal

Years At the Family Table

"Years At the Family Table"
by Paul Cogley

I've enjoyed countless meals at the old family table with most everyone I've loved.
For a while the table was also my father's desk, and, later, my desk.
These days it is by a sun drenched window with houseplants on top.
But this week it will be an altar unto itself...

In Praise of the Great Mother Goddess

"In Praise of the Great Mother Goddess"
by Crystal Beavers

The goal of this altar is to lead viewers through interactive experiences at each of the four directions, leading them through the spiral of the sensations and into the center of the circle, the realm of spirit and the temple of the mother. At the North is a dark area for meditation. At the East is incense to light, and at the South candles. There is a small fountain at the West, and a special area in the center devoted to the Goddess.

Sally Petterson and Silver Springs High School

Sally Petterson
and Silver Springs High School


by Middle Yuba River Area Citizen's League (MYRACL)

We honor
   the animals and plants of the Yuba Watersheds
We mourn
   the loss of Steelhead and Salmon spawning grounds
   due to dams and diversions.
We hope for the removal of all obsolete dams.
Let the rivers flow from the mountains to the ocean!
Let all beings return to their source!

Women of the 7th Year

"Women of the 7th Year"
by Eileen Jorgenson, Dee LeVan,
Annie Marks, Helen McDonald,
MaryAnn McDonald, Susan Ross,
Barbara Travis & Emily Whiteside

We sit in circle
Breathing in the Mineral Kingdom
Breathing in the Plant Kingdom
Breathing in the Animal Kingdom
Breathing in the Kingdom of Mankind
We sit and play we give thanks
We love   We love   We love.

Community Altar

Community Altar
The community altar is for us all.
We invite you to participate in any way you feel comfortable.
There are ribbons & materials to tie on the tree.
You may wish to write a note to those you'd like to remember.
Feel free to bring pictures or items.