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The 2012 Altar Show

The Nevada County Fair Grounds, Grass Valley, California



The Community Altar has been purposely left unfinished. Please join with us to make this altar a unique, memorable shrine by adding a photograph, memento or message to remember and honor a loved one.
(If you contribute a photograph or memento you wish to keep, please retrieve it on the last day of the show on Sunday, November 4.)

We welcome and appreciate written communication to individual Altaristas. Please put the altar number or name on your note and post it on the message board. We will make sure that it is delivered.


1. Joseph Meade

“Leaning Boxed Totem”


2. Linda Lyon-Wright

Renewal and Appreciation

Playing with identity issues and changes of middle age:  Who am I?  What matters to me?  What do I want to express?  What inspires me?  And what do I appreciate about my current life?


3. Lin Schiffner

A Tree of Life

My altar honors the miracle of life ~ the web of interconnection among life forms and elements on Earth. Although only a tiny leaf on the “Tree of Life”, human beings are responsible for its future. May we learn to protect, cherish, nourish and preserve “The Tree of Life” so it may it grow in peace and harmony.


4. The Marchi Family

Our altar is dedicated to "Our Grandparents Ken & Marcella Kenyon".     

5. Terry and Leal Charonnat

Franklin and Friends

Australian Shepherd ● Martinez Shelter ● North-Bay Canine Rescued ● Potomac / FDR ● Kennel Office ● Gabbro Mentored ● Rides Everywhere with Leal ● TherapyPets Volunteer – Hospitals, SNF’s, Libraries ● Paws to Read ● Cookie Scraps ● Galen Protector ● Pumpkins ● Jeffrey Partner ● Beaches ● Chasing ● Wading ● Circling ● Terry’s Forever Friend ● Healing Kisses ● Aunt Lois ● Listening / Left Ear Up ● Heart Wide Open

6. Palestine-Israel Working Group

Palestine: Restore the Water, Restore the People

Loss of Palestinian land, homes, and water has increased since the building of the annexation wall.  Much of Palestinian water is diverted to Israeli areas.  Water systems have been extensively destroyed, and water contamination is widespread.  Rebuilding of infrastructure is blocked.  May Palestinians gain access to vital water needs. 

7. Nandi Szabo and Richard Fisher

Happy Endings

We seek to view death through a lens of joy rather then one of denial and fear.  By honoring death before we die, by painting  and presenting
ones own casket, we face "the REST of our lives" with more gusto and intention, while loving those who have past.

#8 Nevada City United Methodist Church Sunday School,
and Earth Justice Ministries


You ask, "What's Cookin'?"  Sadly, the answer is: "The Earth." She is overheating at an alarming rate due to greenhouse gases and global warming.  As the earth heats, the oceans warm and rise, the Arctic ice melts – terrible consequences occur for all life.  The animals search for food, their watering holes dry up, their habitats become uninhabitable.  Pray for our earth, and commit to actions which reduce global warming to save our planet.

9. Miriam Morris

Dennison Harlow Morey, Jr. 

~ January 6, 1923 - April 22, 2012

My father died on Earth Day this year. An appropriate exit for a life-long horticulturalist.
This sculpture was made several years ago for a Father's Day art show in Sacramento.

10. Holly Irons and Ironsculp Studio Students

Altar to the Crone

In honor of the woman of a certain age,
the wise woman, the crone.

11. Hospitality House


This altar was created by guests of the local homeless shelter as a memorial to our homeless friends who have passed.
May their bowls be full, their pillows soft, and may they rest in peace.

12. Krista Bindewald


13. Earthcare Witness and Peace & Justice Committee of Grass Valley Friends Meeting


When the average temperature rises 2 degrees, dramatic effects will occur in California. The Earthcare Witness Committee of Grass Valley Friends Meeting spent a year researching these impacts on us.  This triptych presents the results.  Please read the data.  It affects you, your family and your future.

14. Nancy Zeno-Hamilton

Time Flies

15. Judy Roth
“Humbly Offering GOD as Ocean”

I had a wonderful recurring dream in which things and people I loved
were adrift peacefully within the light Ocean depths.
Then I realized...the Ocean represented GOD in my heart.

16. Ian and Danielle Richards

Love Story

This altar was made to express and immortalize the gratitude they hold for the love they share. The piece features intimate details drawn from their own love story. There is a miniature image of the painting she made, and the song lyrics he sang, which spawned their first connection. “The Book of Love” is one of the songs they
perform together. The hand carved wooden rib cage represents the protection and strength of their bond. The little light boxes illuminate sweet intimate moments together. The lock of hair represents transformation. And finally, the woven arch that surrounds the piece keeps all of this safe, and contains the passion and magic of their everlasting love.


Grandmothers for Peace of Nevada County

Styles and methods change, but the focus of our message remains the same: “Let there be Peace on Earth!”

20. Susan Ellenbogen

Season of Loss

To remember and honor the passing of my birth family: My father, Joseph (2005); my sister, Barbara (2010); and my mother, Ethel (2012).

21. The Waller Family

10,000 Prayers

He was headed to Haiti for a mission trip, but was instead suddenly admitted to the hospital to save his life.  What started as one small prayer multiplied and spread to “10,000” prayers, a blanket of comfort for he and his family!

22. Montana March

Some heroes wear capes, mine wear combat boots

This altar is memorial in honor of all fallen members of all the armed forces, as well as honoring all veterans. Also this altar honors the home-based combat fighters such as fire fighters, police and swat forces. 


23. Green Sanctuary of the Unitarian-Universalist Community of the Mountains
Label for a Good Life!

The backdrop for our altar speaks of a time when we knew where our food came from and trusted its purity. With the advent of unlabeled Genetically Modified Seeds/Organisms, we no longer can be sure of exactly what we are eating, or if it is safe for us to eat.  We have a right to know when GMO's are present in our food.  Labeling is imperative!

24. Andrea Maher
Shed Some Skin

The snake is a reminder to move on through grief after the murder of my “womb buddy”, Ethaan Boyer. I used materials from around my house (something Ethaan was always doing for his many works of art) and spent time sewing and gluing with my four children.

25. Carol Hyndman
Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge is where animals crossover when they leave this earthly life.
The old, sick, injured are all whole and perfect again.
Pets are happy and free while they wait for their people to crossover so they can be together again.

26. The GMO-Label Law Group
Don’t We Have the Right to Know?

Scientists have been experimenting with nature and creating GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) which are taking over our food sources. Independent studies show severe damage to human and animal health from eating GMO’s in our food!  Injury to the health of ALL living beings is at stake! Don't WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW what we are eating?
Vote "YES" in November on Proposition 37, the "Right to know" initiative.

27. Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains Soul Explorer Group
Hunger in Nevada County Through the Eyes of Our Children
This altar is a representation of hunger in Nevada County as seen through the eyes of the children of the Soul Explorers group of the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains.  Its intent is to raise awareness of hunger and explore some possible social justice solutions to this problem. 

28. Gabe and Jaxon Baker

The best dog ever.
Our friend.

29. Charity Bryson:
"Pray the Devil Back to Hell"

After fourteen years of a bloody civil war, the women of Liberia took on the violent warlords that had torn their sons from them and ravaged their daughters. Their massive non-violent peace movement against these monsters succeeded in 2003.
My altar honors the children murdered and brutalized by these warlords and the women who took back their country.

30. Cindy Shaw

The mission statement of the Brain Injury Support Group known as "Yes-Brainers" is to bring awareness to the plight of brain injured individuals in Nevada County. Members  are survivors who aspire to fully use their capacity and honor those who did not survive their brain injuries. We offer gratitude to all those who support us.

31. Mary Ann Crabb

After a rich and fulfilling life, Leone Niehaus passed away this year. She was 98.
As a wife and mother of five, she found time to be active in her church and community.  Leone's gingersnaps are a sample of her cooking talents. Enjoy her Nevada County Fair blue ribbon recipe.

32. CHILDREN’S ALTAR by Miriam Morris

This area is especially for children. Play. Create. Enjoy.


An altar to honor those Altaristas who have left this world before us. This year we chose an autumn picnic to honor them and to remember with gratitude how they touched our hearts and souls.
Aaron Brode (1910 - 2004)
Teddy Kell Emrich (1928 – 2011)
Evelyn Mercedes Hall (1927 – 2007)
Gillian Esme Hodge (1927 – 2001)
Carol Jean Mathis (1941 – 2004)
Elizabeth K. Ormond (1946 – 2008)
David Sayles Osborn (1932 – 2002)
Elizabeth Stock-Gonzalez (1961 – 2005)
Stephanie Jean Unsell (1972 – 2010)
Charles F. Woods (1931 – 2011)

35. Chanell D. Canfield & Baz Sheckells
Simple Beauty of the Everyday

After the passing of my grandfather, Big AL, my son and I found great beauty in the everyday things that made up his life.

36. Lois Shelton
Eggs can represent life, creativity and transformation. These three dimensional egg collages have inner and outer presence with mixed media and a variety of themes, ideas and feelings.

37. Francene Holland


38. Friends of Patsy FordHeartfelt Memories

"It's not that I'm afraid of dying, it's just that I love living.”

39. A collaboration of the Peace Center of Nevada County and Kentucky Flat Community Preschool
Children Need Peace To Thrive

"There is Peace inside everyone of us. 
Come let yours shine."

40. Jhon Renoir

41. Charles Green
“A Reformed Experience”

My altar was greatly inspired by the Altar in the Mission of San Miguel and a reformed experience in recent series of bible studies at my church.

The powerful icon of the Virgin represents to me the rich past and present history of California. 

42. Beverly Trump Dittberner
Bob Trump (1929 -2012)

43. Sarah Sparhawk
The Ripple Effect

“When, to the best of our human ability, we maintain a high level of consciousness, the lives of those around us are inexplicably  enhanced. It's part of the 'ripple effect' which spreads out in far-reaching circles of positive energy and kindness.” Written by Chelle Thompson

44. Bill Snell

I cannot seem to avoid my cosmic connection to the 60’s. Though the most traumatic time for my life & it’s path, I cannot but stop and revel in it’s glory & understated meaning in my (our) daily lives. Long live John. It’s totally John this year.

45. Sierra Sisters
Perpetual Passions

As we reflect on our passions, we see a river of energy that flows through our whole lives.  Passions arise out of our talents and gifts, and may change over time. Defining our passions leads to clarity of purpose. Clarity allows us to fully commit, and to plunge into the river.

46. Meg and John Hughes
Teddy Kell

Mom, what do I do now?
Boxes and bags full of stuff.
A collection of memories still to be dealt with.

47. Rahlene Weedon and Andrew Bergthold

48. Rachel Levesque
Every Drop Counts

A mothers journey in feeding
Her offspring
Through a dark tunnel
Guided by hope
Wanting the river of nourishment to flow
From her breast
To her sweet babes
Rose petal lips.
Herbs, community support, and love
Her baby grows!

49. Schiffner Family
Remembering Mark Larner Schiffner (1953 – 2012)

Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Brother-in-Law, Uncle and Friend
Artist, Musician, and Photography Expert ~
A complex, multifaceted, and modest human being with a great sense of humor and wonderful heart~
His early departure shocked everyone who knew him and reminded us all how much we loved him~

50. Stephen Edwards
In the Closet

How many do you have? 
Which one would you like to set free? 

51. Bitney College Prep High School, Art I
Walk through Life

We live to die.  Life is short, memories long.  Growing up a second time.  Glittering, glistening, a light in the darkness.  There's a way to go, but you don't know.  When you finish, you'll understand.  Your life is half of your life.  The other half in death will last forever.

(Evan Bauch, John King, Mathias Knowles, Eli Lassiter, Max Mobley-Sandez, Cat Neumann, Jack Pruett, Thomas Simpson, Moon Yuzon)

52. Bitney College Prep High School, Art II
Rebirth of Consciousness
Singularity of consciousness, brought forth by death, represented in life.  A singularity rises from the conscience of many to be reborn.  Enlightened, perceptive, recreated consciousness.  When we die, we are reborn into a new consciousness.  Death a rebirth, melding of the body and mind.  Death is only the beginning. 

(Sarah Austin, Brian Baker, Spencer William, Kori Dudley, Matt McKay, Luke Miller, Rachael Osborne, Roam Ramirez, Kalyja Simning, Kwynn Widing, Wrenna Young)

53. Kathryn Eldredge
Mon Pere

Another piece in a continuing, on-going series about my father, Kelly Eldredge.
Materials: Wood, plexi-glass, photo transfer on silk tissue, thread, gauze.

54. Liam Ellerby
Reflections of a woman whose paradoxes so strongly echo
in me and a celebration of her indomitable sense of hope.
55. Bear River High School, Ceramics and Art Classes

56. Kimberly D’Urso

Cardamom and stars.  Melting sunshine and a good book.  Mint tea and a full moon.  Our children laughing, with full bellies around a kitchen table.  Flowing water and rediscovering myself.  Falling into my husband’s eyes.  Talking with the hens.  Hot baths and growing sunflowers…nourish me.

57. Beverly Trump Dittberner
Altar to bad Art

Art is not always pretty.
Let's face it, sometimes it's bad.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
May you gaze upon these works with 
Vision improved by a little glitter.

58. steffen snell

A sequel to my prelude altar show piece.
Spooks, specters, and haunts.
Whether they be threatening or taunts,
I think they should be cherished.
Hopefully never perished.
For if we lose the quick to fright,
We might make far worse things walk through our night.


59. Miranda Leigh Wensel
An altar to my wedding

"Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away." by Dorothy Parker

60. Don Baldwin

In l958, my dear father and I traveled around the world together. This butterfly's wings are composed of over 7,200 slide clips (Kodachrome transparencies) of the thousands of color slides he took on that trip.

As the light shines through, illuminating the images, so does his tender light continue to shine through my life, and all he touched, with his heart of compassion and justice.  I release him now to the Eternal Wind.

61. Suzie Hayter
“Bella Luna”

Beautiful, beautiful moon
Oh do what you do.

62. Matthew Scott Oberg

...These Souls Are One with the Earth...
   With the Trees
   With the Universe
   They Are One with the "ALL" and
   They Are One with the "NOTHINGNESS"
   They Always have been and They Always will Be...
...As a Revolving Current...



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