199819992002 20052006200720082012

The 2006 Altar Show

The Nevada County Fair Grounds, Grass Valley, California

In Memory Of My Dad, Jack Alves

"In Memory Of My Dad,
Jack Alves"
by Tina Frazier

My altar highlights his life in photos and a list of his favorite sayings. It is also a tribute to his alter ego, Sam Spade.

The Artist Within

"The Artist Within"
by Susan Cook Norrell

"Discovery is seeing what everyone has seen,
yet thinking what no one has thought."

Where does our creativity come from?
Look at your inner artist
How do you express your creativity?
Carpentry? Music? Parenting? Science? Art? Cooking? Gardening? Math? Humor? Decorating? Problem-solving? Sales?
Look inside and reflect.

Dia De Los Muertos

"Dia De Los Muertos"
by Elisabeth Mesones

I celebrate Savanna.
I celebrate my family.
"...dying isn't fatal; it's part of the continuum of time and space...DIA DE LOS MUERTOS...an exuberant, sensual, remarkable life-affirming fiesta for the dead. Gina Hyams
The Mexicann is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love."
Octavio Paz

Get Up And Board Another Train

"Get Up
And Board Another Train"
by Charles Woods

Sometimes the joy takes a long time to come around again.

Melting Heart: There Is A Bond

"Melting Heart: There Is A Bond"
by Claudia Cunningham

My heart still melts when I hold a grandchild and look at the baby toes. It happens when I watch the older grandchildren grow and do something spontaneously. Moreover, my adult daughters, Kelly and Amy, wind their way through my heart, helping me face things that go bump in the night.


by Katherine Hubbard

There are no 'accidental' children, only accidental parents: love and nourishment being absent, the child is condemned to a life of empty endearment.

Remember The Ladies

"Remember The Ladies"
by Charity Bryson

March 31, 1776. Abigail adams writes John Adams: 'We will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice.' 144 years later the government acceded to women the legal right to cast a vote.
My altar honors the dauntless women who made this possible.

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

"Blessed Are The Peacemakers"
by Lin Schiffner

I humbly dedicate this altar to all peacemakers of the world. Those portrayed on the quilt have been of particular inspiration to me and have lived or are living in my lifetime.
Blessed are those who dream of peace -
May we all be so blessed.

In Loving Memory

"In Loving Memory"
by The Altaristas

For our Altarista sisters and brothers now living in another world. A loving and grateful memorial to these who touched our souls:

The Healing Woman Altar

Robyn Martin
This Altar is dedicated to an art work series made 40 years ago. It is a work in progress. At 21 years I was full of intentions.

William Pynchon

"A Flower Lei For Your Hair Is A Sign Of ALOHA."
by William Pynchon

Finding Happiness In The Dream

"Finding Happiness In The Dream"
by Stephanie J. Unsell

The daily reality I face is of uncertainty and pain. In the last year I have been blessed with the ability of slipping into my dreams. When I feel my loss, I can change the shape of my emotions by consuming myself with visions of hope. My dreams create comfort. It no longer serves me to be confined to this reality, but I thrive and find happiness in believing in the dreams.

Free Tibet

"Free Tibet"
by Liz Carlton, Julia Morton,
and Baylee Reynolds

In Honor And Remembrance Of Mark Ray

"In Honor And Remembrance Of Mark Ray"
by Andrea Fox and Julie Cobden

Presence and Absence

"Presence and Absence"
by Myra Lynne Traugot

Like bones and teeth, this altar
is in a constant process of creating itself.

Love Longing

"Love Longing"
by Robert Mumm

Shelter Friends

"Shelter Friends"
by Speranza Avram and Jessica Wold

Jessica and Speranza have been 'sisters' through the Big Brothers/Big Sisteers program since 2002. We volunteer at the Nevada County Animal Shelter. Jessica, age 12, came up with the idea for this Altar because she wants people to know that animals could be put to sleep if people don't adopt them.

World Of Impermanance

"World Of Impermanance"
by Phyllis K. Day

I am processing this year, how we all must be born and how we must die. Yet it is the lessons we learn through Love that heals our sorrow-suffing.
'So Be Love' for Love Never Dies

Hospitality House

"Hospitality House"
by Teddy Kell, Utah Phillips, Joanna Robinson

Hundreds of people in Western Nevada County - including many children - sleep outside every night because they are homeless. Hospitality House is an emergency cold-weather shelter offering them meals, overnight accommodation, showers, laundry facilities, connection to social services, medical consultation, and sincere and caring friendship.

Joan Michelau

Joan Michelau
Wisdom of Sienna offers the opportunity for those who wish to stand for a time in gratitude, ring a sweet chime, write a note of thanks to any animal they love now or in the past or praying for in the future.

City Of Altars

"City Of Altars"
by Denise Wey and the Mud Hut

Like a city make up of diverse inhabitants, these altars are a collection of unique inspirations. Created and displayed together, they are more dynamic, empowering and evocative then when displayed as individual pieces. They were created by the adult ceramics class, 'Hands in Clay', at the Mud Hut Ceramics Center in Nevada City.

Buffalo Girls

"Buffalo Girls"
by Kat Barrie

They were the rock stars of their day - the wonderful women of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Foothill Nurses and Health Care Providers

Foothill Nurses
and Health Care Providers

This altar is offered as an opportunity to remember and honor all those we had the privilege of knowing and caring for before their passing. It is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge the range of emotions we experience each time someone we care for dies. May this altar help to heal our grief and help us find renewal so we can continue on the path with our patients, families and friends who are now facing the end of their time here on earth.

Mukashi, Mukashi, Sono Mukashi

"Mukashi, Mukashi, Sono Mukashi"
by Elizabeth K. Ormond

My altar is dedicated to a long-ago time and place when I met wonderful people and learned fascinating things, an era that I now realize is completely irrelevant to my current life. but it was a time of joy, and I remember it with love.

Asking Deeper Questions

"Asking Deeper Questions"
by Sierra Nevada Deep Ecology Institute

Since the Industrial Revolution, human acts have had a dramatic and increasing impact on nature. Many species have become extint or are currently threatened.
We gather to honor our family of life, and ask deeper questions about the relationship between humans and nature.

Health Care For All

"Health Care For All"
by Lynn Ely for HCA

This altar is dedicated to all who suffer because of our current healthcare crisis: the 39 million Americans without health insurance, 18,000 who die each year because of this, 2 million a year who are forced into bankruptcy, and the millions more who are not getting the care they need. A compassionate solution is at hand.

Creating Memories For Our GrandKids

"Creating Memories For Our GrandKids"
by GrandMothers For Peace

'I remember grandma. She gave me creative toys, good books, and home-made cookies. My grandma was an activist, always working to make the world a better place. She wrote a lot of letter to legislators and took me to marches and parades. Now, when I march, I always think of her'.

The Real Deal: Salud Amigos

"The Real Deal:
Salud Amigos"
by Claudia Cunningham

Love comes in many forms. The act of creating an altar show for Nevada County demonstrates a love that transcends personal need. to honor the dead, to respect the emotions of the beloved, to share passion, to speak to the heart: all of this the Altar Show Board makes possible.

La Loteria

"La Loteria"
by Claudia Cunningham

Life is a lottery. We inherit genes. We interact with environment, physical and social, We acquire a certain age. Probability comes into play. chance interferes. My dear husband Chris gave it his best show. A last request was for friends to plant roses, especially blue ones - Rich Toothman presented these.

Bear Footprints

"Bear Footprints"
by Lois Shelton

Bears have shared life with humans for 23,000 years. For many, they have represented strength, healing and the death-rebirth cycle. The combination of loss of habitat and low birth rate, high cub loss, poaching and captivity creates the possibility of a great loss to us all. This altar is meant to mourn the loss and honor of sharing the planet with bears.

A Lost Soul In The Wind

"A Lost Soul In The Wind"
by Shauna White-Orovitz

Some of us come into this world with all the opportunities, love and support needed to have a fulfilling and healthy life full of meaning and purpose. Yet, some of us get lost along the way despite the efforts of family, friends and society. Some may call these people 'losers' and I for one, will never understand nor accept such judgments. Perhaps, those that claim such judgments or others are simply 'a lost soul in the wind' themselves. My brother, may you rest in peace and without judgments no more. You were always loved and will always be loved. You are free to blow in the wind as you may.

Dog Is God Spelled Backwards

"Dog Is God Spelled Backwards"
by Karin Givon

I have been messing around with art my whole life, and although mostly I'm a potter I find that there is some kind of art in everything. The fun part is to find it. The challenge is to find it. And the joy is to do it.

The Vulnerable Heart Speaks

"The Vulnerable Heart Speaks"
by Deborah Gutierrez

This year I experienced alarming pain in my heart area accompanied by an overwhelming sense of panic. Can I listen to my vulnerable, trembling heart and allow the scared and scarred parts of myself to become the sacred offering? Can loneliness become all-one-ness?

Altar Show Community Resources

Altar Show
Community Resources
by Ella O'Bryan

Peace Without War

"Peace Without War"
by Roberta Bloom

Dedicated to all the lives lost and families
broken hearted by the ravages of war...
and to a conscious generation that will resolve
World Conflicts without killing each other.
'You can bomb the world to pieces,
but you can't bomb it into Peace.'
Michael Franti, song writer, activist.

Toward The One

"Toward The One"
by Don Baldwin

The heart of all religion is love;
love is at the heart of all religion.
this altarpiece honors
the universal impulse
to touch the Holy -
The one source
of all truth and life.
It pays tribute to all who,
often facing persecution
and death, lived lives
of compassion and peace.

California Joss House

"California Joss House"
by Annie Clinton

Months and years like a current, flow along.
Counting on my fingers,
I realize it's now the middle
of the eighth month.
Tonight is marvelous, moonlight at the doorsteps;
The moon, crystal-clear, so round and full.
I view the moon.
But seeing the moon arouses my sorrow.
The moon makes me long for home, so far away.
Leaning by the rail before the full, round moon,
all in vain.
Poem from "Songs of Gold Mountain,
Cantonese Rhymes from San Francisco Chinatown"
edited and translated by Marlon K. Hom.
Calligraphy by Eugene Heung.

Trusting The Mystery

"Trusting The Mystery"
by Mandy Farnsworth

Contemplating death will bring you to an hones assessment of what gives your life meaning. This will lead to a choice: to fritter away your hours or to take charge of yourself and your life. Ask yourself what truly generates satisfaction. This contemplation both on death and what it means to truly live is designed to distinguish between short-lived pleasure and long lasting joy.


B. Weiss - Artist, Teacher, Mother, GrandMother
by Sarah Hendrickson

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

In Honor Of The Casualties Of War

"In Honor Of The Casualties Of War"
by Mel Henderson and Howard Levine

Narrow Gauge Memories

"Narrow Gauge Memories"
by Terry and Leal Charonnat

In 1942 the Nevada county Narrow Gauge Railroad was unceremoniously dispatched to history, never again to exist except as a memory while those who had ridden its rails lived. this altar offers the community an opportunity to reconnect with the rails and develop new narrow gauge memories.

Walter Altar 2

"Walter Altar 2"
by David W. Parker

50 words or less:
For good times had and to be had.
Thanks Sparky

Brenda Collins

Brenda Collins

Dias de los Muertos used to be a mystery to me but has become a happy time to remember family with affection. This altar includes traditional food, welcoming flowers, and little skeletons for humor. The butterflies represent my loved ones' free spirits as we reunite during this time of divine permission. In special memory of Sophie Kaczorowski.

Hello GoodBye

"Hello, Hello, Hello,
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye,
that's All There Is"
by Chad Wood

My Garden brings me peace and slows the time for me. And yet my garden is a constant reminder
that life comes and goes.
'Time hurries on,
and the leaves that are green turn to brown,
And they wither with the wind,
And they crumble in your hand.'
Simon and Garfunkel

Memento Mori

"Memento Mori -
All Paths Lead To The Same Destination."
by the Bitney Springs
High School Art Class:
Nick Aiello, Jamison Confer, Desiree Crane, Jennelle Carr, Aria Davenport, Zach Fox, Lacey Nelson, Nick Shipman, Kelli Simmons, and Tove Westrup.

See No Evil

"See No Evil"
by Theresa Juarez Lyon

This altar is in honor of all victims of torture
and prisoners of war.

Alex's Family

"Alex's Family"
by Nici VanKriedt

Our funny, happy boy is gone.
We all love him, and miss him.
We remember his genuine sweetness
And the music he made.
Life is boring without Alex.
His premonition told him to get a passport.
He got his passport and went traveling.
He is having a good trip.

The Ladder

"The Ladder"
by Stephen Edwards

Where to go?
Up, down,
forward, backward,
left or right?
The Voice calls out
'climb, climb keep climbing.'

The Wyrd Sisters and Clan Cauldron

The Wyrd Sisters and Clan Cauldron
Many cultures noor October/November as final harvest, a time of transformation. We offer a personal exxperience based on an ancient tradition that we too are transformed by the seasons and cycles of thee earth.
'When I let go of what I am
I become what I might be.'
Lao Tze

The Wishing Hoop

"The Wishing Hoop"
by Miriam Morris

the older I get, the more I notice the ways
people have chosen to live their lives.
What qualities are most important
in the well-lived life?
What would you wish for others
to experience in their lives
before they die?

Gnostic Feast Of The Blessed Dead

"Gnostic Feast Of The Blessed Dead"
(October 31 or November 1)
by Michael Zysk

Contemplated visually is the resurrection of Lazarus as described in St. John 11, crossing the Abyss. This feast icon adores St. Lazarus as the gnosis ferrying all good creatures of god across the realities between dying and birth, celebrating our realization of the innate unity with the True Light from which we have never departed.

Sam Hughes

Sam Hughes
I chose Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer because
I was looking into the pond at Sierra College
and my Mom called me Huck Finn.
I like to pretend to be Huck,
rafting down the river and fishing...
getting into and out of trouble,
and enjoying my friends.

True Blue - True Bill (Wiser)

"True Blue - True Bill (Wiser)"
by Claudia Cunningham

I didn't know him long, the brother-in-law of my daughter Amy. what I learned was that he was caring, realistic, loving. Family was his middle name. He died too young, age 43, in a hospital where he was to leave the next day. Bill, we miss you so much.

The Womb of My Peace

"The Womb of My Peace"
by Lhesli Benedict

"I Am Here NOW".

In Memory Of My Father, Lee F. Wilderman

In Memory Of My Father,
Lee F. Wilderman
by Debbie Wilson

Interactive Kinetic Dada

"Interactive Kinetic Dada"
by Jim Mullen

This altar is dedicated to meaninglessness,
to the irrational and the serendipitous.
It is infused with the dada spirit of nihilism.
If you find meaning in 'it' you're missing the point.

The Noble Juglans Regia

"The Noble Juglans Regia"
by Sue Coziah

Please join me in giving thanks for the intelligent, majestic, sustaining, sheltering, familiar WALNUT: the English Walnut (correctly Persian Walnut).

Heather Carpenter

Heather Carpenter
This altar gives tribute to all the musicians
who sing from their vulnerable hearts beneath.
In memorial to my mother, Catherine Jean, I have created this altar to allow her spirit and soul to shine. She created a beautiful legacy through her cildren, grandchildren, and her family. She left this legacy behind 6 months ago and will be greatly missed by all of us.

Anna Rumery

Anna Rumery

Remembering My Grandmother

"Remembering My Grandmother"
by Morgan Best

This is an altar to my grandmother, Doris Goetz, who passed one year ago. She was my dear friend, my confidant and my mentor. She was a woman of dualities; at once strong and fragile, kind and demanding, a scientist and an artist. She was always an inspiration, and she is deeply missed.

Community Altar

The Community Altar
prepared by Annie Clinton

You are welcome to join with us to create the Community Altar as a unique, memorable shrine. The Altar is located in the central room connecting all three buildings and has purposely left partially finished for additions.
We hope you will leave a votive candle, photograph, memento or message to remember and honor a loved one. It is also appropriate to include a remembrance for those who have lost their lives in recent disasters.
Contributed items are retrieved by their owner after the final day of the show.