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The 2002 Altar Show

Nevada County Fair Grounds, Grass Valley, California

Tree Of Life

"Remembrances Of The Tree Of Life"
by the Peace Center of Nevada County

The Peace Center of Nevada County honors the essential power of people in community. Together we commit to effect change in a global culture of violence, greed, and injustice. Through open inquiry, education, and nonviolent direct action, we nurture peace, equality and dignity in ourselves, our community and our Earth.

Teachers and Healers

"Teachers and Healers"
by Terry and Leal Charonnat

We honor the loved ones who helped us grow. We remember, reflect, nenew, and reconnect through this altar becoming one in spirit.

Spirit Peer Counselors

Spirit Peer Counselors

Making Sense Of An Incomprehensible Loss: Maureen Lane Jefferson (1951-2002)

"Making Sense
Of An Incomprehensible Loss:
Maureen Lane Jefferson
by Kate Lane Mecorney

An altar can represent celebration
and/or sacrifice of her murder
at the hand of her ex-husband,
who was determined
that she would not "win".

Eulogy For Theodora Cogley Farrell (1918-2002)

"Eulogy For Theodora Cogley Farrell (1918-2002)"
by Paul Cogley

There is a photograph I saw for the first time yesterday. She is about three, wading in the water with a most joyful smile. It is the same smile she kept throughout her life. To the end, it radiated from her heart.
-- May 15, 2002, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Santa Barbara.

Mothers and Daughters

"Mothers and Daughters"
by Lhesli Benedict

The stories unwinding
Like patterns in clay
Like rings on a tree
From acorn to ancient standing person

Remembrances and Promises Kept

"Remembrances and Promises Kept"
by Diana Smith

This altar is a manifestation of a promise to re-emerge as the artist that lies within.

Memorial To Sheila

"Memorial To Sheila"
by Paul Ong and Lena Martin

When the laughter between them was torn away,
the daughter received her mother's treasured remains
in a cardboard box.
Then came the daughter's vision and the artist's dream
Sheila's ashes took form
throughout this entire work of art.
Sheila's family wishes to share this dream,
the comfort it has given them,
with you.

Honoring Fifty Years of Marriage

"Honoring Fifty Years of Marriage"
by Pattie Butterfield,
Theresa Rothenberger
and Mary Hoskin

This altar is meant to encourage those who see it to look beyond their own prejudices and view people differently...with compassion and insight.

Dobag, Cultural Survival for the 21st Century

"Dobag, Cultural Survival for the 21st Century"
by Eileen Jorgensen,
Catherine Ione
and Peter

DOBAG is an anachronism for the research and development of natural dyes. DOBAG is the first woman's rug weaving cooperative in the Islamic world and has been developing for 20 years in the villages of western Turkey. Operated under the auspices of the University of Marmara, Istanbul, DOBAG has shown that the rediscovery of traditional skills can lead to economic success in our modern world. By keeping alive these old tribal weaving and dying traditions, indigenous peoples can maintain a harmonious way of life while contributing to cultural variety in an age of globalization.

To Travel The Path Of The Heart

"To Travel The Path Of The Heart"
by Deborah Edwards

So many examples...
The Little Prince: "One does not see with the eyes, only when one sees with the heart does one truly see"
The Velveteen Rabbit: "Only when your fur has all been rubbed off are you truly real"
Kahil Gibran: "Man's needs change, but not his love nor his desire that his love should satisfy his needs. Know therefore that from the greater silence I shall return."
James Joyce: "Love Loves to Love Love."

Rainbow Bridge

"Rainbow Bridge"
by Carol Hyndman

This is the bridge our beloved animal companions cross over when they die. It is a place where they are again young, whole, healthy and without pain. Here they wait for the day when their person crosses the bridge and they are together again.
It is also a place for the homeless and unloved animals to find the peace and love they never knew in life.


by C. Stephen Edwards

To see the beauty of the divine expression in all thy creatures great and small.

Family Altar

"Family Altar"
by Kat Barrie and Family

We honor the legacy of Joseph Andrade and Verna Ersepke, George Hafner and Geneva McElhinny, Will Barrie and Pearl Bowman. In each of these faces we see a reflection of ourselves.
We also honor the passing of Bill Hafner (husband, father, stepfather) and David Burns (son, grandson, nephew). They will always have a place in our hearts.

Dawna Carus

Dawna Carus


by Linda Norman

Guatemala is a hard place for indigenous people to live. This display will tell something about Chajul. Chajul is 10½ hours from the capitol and suffered horrendous tragedies during the 35 year civil war.

Judith Lowry and Anne Clinton

Judith Lowry and Anne Clinton

Karen Jarvis

Karen Jarvis

Your Life Now!

"Your Life Now!"
by Mary Hoskin and Larry Douglass

Peace, Happiness, Love,
Helping Young Children. You have given us the gift of knowing what you are doing - what you started on Earth.
We will forever miss you, but know we will be reunited again!
Love, Mom and Larry

To One-Room Schools And Their Teachers

"To One-Room Schools
and Their Teachers"
by Teddy Kell

A remarkable one-room school in Eastern Oregon,
taught by my mother, Margaret J. Kell -
other one-room schools and their teachers;
my mother's Lilliputian schoolhouse collection;
this altar is to honor all of these miracles of fun and learning.

Angel Ray

"Angel Ray"
by Nan Decker
with endoskeleton by Bruce Doan

Angel Ray,
Protector of Dreams
Dance with me
Weaving work to play
Wash dishes, drive car, pay bills dream
Turning, turning delicate intricate
Hearts rich winging fire then
Water waving smoothing soothing
Sweet hum feet
connecting with earth
Uncertain...embracing light breeze while
Calling, calling to dream

Joan Buffington

Joan Buffington

Rebecca's Gift

"Rebecca's Gift"
by Theodora Alves

In Crises and Chaos
I Knew Peace
While Dancing with Death
I Knew Purpose
Emerging or Hiding
I Now Know Fear
Awakening to Myself
I Now Know Death
Inviting My Spirit
To Become My Dance Partner
I Now Know Eternal Joy
My Daughter's Gift To Me.

Of Women Befriending Their Stomachs

"Of Women Befriending Their Stomachs"
by Aandra Aabdock

A gathering of flesh...
Women's feelings about their stomachs.

Bear River High School

Bear River High School

Their Lips Are Sealed

"Their Lips Are Sealed"
by Robert Mumm

They told us things
we heard with half an ear
Old thing of when their eyes were bright
with new hope and love
We turned to the future
and focused there
Now half remembered
stories beyond our reach
Flutter in the night
like moths beneath the light
In the gusting wind they flash
and then are gone.

Ammachi Altar

"Ammachi Altar"
by Pamela D. Hall and Ammachi Satsang

A Hindu home altar dedicated to Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi). A Satguru and considered by many to be a Saint, Ammachi lives a life of selfless service to humanity. Working 20 hours a day she has built homes, schools, temples and a free state-of-the-art hospital as well as being the spiritual source of countless thousands of devotees. "All deities of the Hindu pantheon, which represent the numberless aspects of the One Supreme Being, exist within us." "Only one who has known the path can show the way to others."

A Dozen Roses: Spirits To The Wind

"A Dozen Roses: Spirits To The Wind"
by Roberta Bloom

Remembering and letting go.
Hanging up precious names and memories of friends, teacher and loved ones that have died and left a mark in my heart, spirits gone beyond the wings of time; I bring in lines of remembrance and offer them Roses.

Letters From The Heart With Thoughts For Future Generations

Letters From The Heart
With Thoughts For Future Generations
by Mary Tendall
and the combat veterans of Nevada County.

That Their Light May Always Shine

"That Their Light May Always Shine"
by The Compassionate Friends - Yuba City Chapter

Our children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters have died at all ages and from many different causes. We love, miss and remember them here. You are invited to add the name of your own child, grandchild, brother or sister, that has gone too soon, so that we may also honor them.

Laurie Chamberlin

Laurie Chamberlin
I promise to gently care for you while you labor. To support you to BE the PowerHouse that you are as you push the baby from your womb and cradle him/her into your arms. As your doula I comfort, encourage and help you. I embrace the new you and honor your strength.

Pamela Snyder

Pamela Snyder
This altar is in honor of all who contribute to the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants. It is also a prayer for awareness: Let us base our actions in an understanding of their long-term and far-reaching effects on our planet and one another.

Michael Zysk and students

Michael Zysk and students

Barbara J. Williams

Barbara J. Williams

Peace for Families

Peace for Families

An Altar For Krista

"An Altar For Krista"
by Francis Rainbow Heart O'Hara

Lloyd Willden

"Lloyd Willden
(July 25th, 1920 - April 2nd, 1984) "
by Lloydene Cook

Lloyd was most at home on a mountain top, or fly fishing on a rushing stream. He served in World War II in both Europe and Asia. He could build absolutely anything and was a true "Jack of all trades." He was a man of his word. We miss him.

John Willden

"John Willden
(April 7th, 1950 - January 21st, 1998)"
by Lloydene Cook

John loved the outdoors, especially deer hunting and fishing. He was a talented artist, and enjoyed drawing animals in nature. He worked in construction and helped build many beautiful homes in the Sacramento area. He had a loving spirit and a big heart!

Motherless Children

"Motherless Children"
by Randy Harris

In June 1967 Dixie Clifford Harris, the 41 year old mother of 6 children - ranging in age from 5 to 18 years old - died in an automobile accident. 35 years later, her children (now grown with families of their own) gather to remember and honor and love their mom.


by Robin Reamer

This altar is a tribute to my mother and her gifts to me.
She encouraged me to learn to sew, a skill that has become a major focus in my creative and working lives.
Because of Mom I love crossword puzzles and Scrabble.

Blessing Bowl

Blessing Bowl

Rainbowheart Francis X. O'Hara

Rainbowheart Francis X. O'Hara

Ode To Ian: A Celebration Of Life

"Ode To Ian: A Celebration Of Life"
by Janet Montgomery

This altar honors Ian's struggle to live after an unlikely car accident that left him comatose for two weeks with severe brain injury and nerve damage. My altar also honors an amazing community of people who supported and prayed for him, and for me...his mother.

Aunt Edith

"Aunt Edith"
by Carlys Gilbert


by Gary Petersen

At this place in my life transition is represented by the hero's journey. The journey occurs in two parts.
First is the adventurous seeking of treasure,
second is the wisdom of putting the treasure to work.
My altar is the bridge between the first and second parts.

Honoring Those Who Have Died

"Honoring Those Who Have Died"
by Mischa Murawski-Brown

Dear friends, if there is someone that you loved that died, there's a place for your spirits in my altar. I was given all these wonderful items for my altar. I love this altar show and I've been here since the first year.
p.s. I am nine years old.

Angels Of Our Lives

"Angels Of Our Lives"
by Molly Matheson

Angels prayer with love and care.

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

"Blessed Are The Peacemakers"
by Charity Bryson

Each of us, with every step we take on our life's journey is given the gift of choice; whether to choose the path of peace or the path of destruction.
Some who have journeyed before us - heroes, not perfect, but strong of heart - chose the road less traveled;
the road of peace.
My altar honors these courageous beings. My dream is that one day their road will be the road most traveled.

Marybeth Webster

Marybeth Webster
Exotic world traveler, brave feminist, and ambitious founder and president of The Constantinople Women's College from 1889 until 1924 when she was 74. This was the "mythology." that grew up around my grandmother's adored and admired older sister for whom I was named: Mary Mills Patrick. I never met her, but she provided me with an alternative role model to the conventions of my era. In one of her many books, My Five Sultans, she describes the feat of getting the veils off their daughters. I benefit by her Suffragette work and try to advance her feminism in teaching and writing. Mary's doctoral thesis was on Greek skepticism, perhaps translated into my Quaker "Question authority!." She and I were both 47 when we received our Ph.D.'s. Where I succumbed to my mother's expectations and had 4 children, she never married. My mother said. "Oh, but she was a spinster!." My daughter says she was a sister Lesbian, using her book Sappho of Lesbos as evidence. This altar honors an intrepid pioneer, Great Aunt Mary, who died in 1940 at age 90.

Honey Woman Altar

"Honey Woman Altar"
by Laura France

Honey Woman is the image that appeared to me as I was entering the second half of life. She represents the sweetness of what has been, and what is yet to come. As the honeybee is able to go far afield, returning to the hive to communicate where it has been, we go forth into our unknown future, hoping to return with what is good for our lives.
The honeybee was considered, in ancient times, to be a symbol of the soul, of death and rebirth. The power of honey lay in its ability to nourish, heal and preserve, and it was thought to have a "resurrection potency." The bee itself was a symbol of community, cooperation, and diligence.
At this festival of altars, let us remember the sweetness in our lives as individuals and community, storing it warmly in our hearts, with a rising hum that always helps us find our way back home.


by Jody Ahlquist-Mough

The sunflower turns its face to the light,
tracking the sun until dusk.
The turkey vulture circles on updrafts
warmed by the sun.
In the depths of the ocean
life makes its own luminosity.
Each in its own -
Turning light to its evolutionary advantage.
Yet the light has no motive,
indiscriminately affecting everything,
willing nothing.

Catrina Y Su Perro Spot

"Catrina Y Su Perro Spot"
by Mary Ann Schwartz

Many contemporary Day of the Dead folk artists draw inspiration from the Mexican engraver Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852 - 1913). His calaveras (skulls) were humorous images of cavorting skeletons. Posada's images are still popular today, especially La Catrina, a fancy Victorian lady wearing a huge, feathered hat. Here she is with her dog Spot.
Special thanks to R. L. Crabb and Stuey at The Grey Goose in Nevada City.

Little Altars From My House

"Little Altars From My House"
by Teddy Kell

These are three of the small altars,
always changing, that live in my house:
on my computer,
on the shelf by my bed,
on a shelf in the greenhouse.

Memory Box

"Memory Box"
by C. Stephen Edwards

Knowing what I am.

Nancy Chesnut Finlay

Nancy Chesnut Finlay
My altar is dedicated to all women on the edge
between life and death
all women passed into the next stage
my sister Joanie
dear friend Robin
Sisters on the Edge Happy, Joanne, Debra, Linda
now: my angels, my spirits
now: ash and bone
physical bodies gone, always with me

Balancing The Realms

"Balancing The Realms"
by Willow Murawski-Brown

Autumnal equinox moonlight blessed the sand and rocks in the Nevada desert. I spontaneously created this pattern in a moment when pain, separation, and struggles with duality dissolved. harmony, stillness, and joy emerged. the mysteries held in this prayer made visible continue to unfold before you.
For my son, Mischa.

The Other Homeless

"The Other Homeless"
by Carol Hyndman

These are the abandoned, the left behind "we're moving and can't take them with us", shelter animals. They have so much love to give and dream of the chance to show it.


This has been our ongoing record of people, places, pets and our memories of Nevada City since we arrived in October, 1957.
"The Bird of Time has but a little say to fly
And, lo, the Bird is on the wing."

Charles Woods

Charles Woods
Dear Friend!
Your heart was illumined with virtues,
whose transcendent blaze, like the bright comet,
seldom seen, nor long,
but once beheld,
can be forgot no more
David Osborn (1932-2002).