Turning Grief into Art

In response to requests for more arts and performance in Vista, All Souls Vista (ASV) recently held a multicultural art show and healing festival to honor and celebrate the lives and deaths of lost loved ones. The event was held at Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and was an artistic collaboration among the citizens of Vista, with the goal of addressing loss and honoring the departed in a way that allows attendees to move forward with more awareness on the present. Artists and volunteers came together to create individual ofrendas (altars) and art installations. Other highlights included street theater and puppetry, drum circles, food trucks and concession stands, a community fire ceremony of release, the lovely sights and sounds of Royatribal Belly Dance and Karla Mi Lugo, and the “Procession of Little Souls” in which children were encouraged to make wings and dress up in costume. Several workshops were held in the months before the festival to allow Vista residents to master the arts of skull make-up application, mask making and decorating, as well as sculpture and mural creation. When asked about the importance of the event, ASV Founder Tania Yager said, “ASV has been such a labor of love. So many people came together to help and they were invaluable. We united the tribe of Vista for a common cause of honoring our ancestors and it was brilliant and meaningful.” The event was made possible in part by San Diego Center for Civic Engagement, Vista Art Foundation, and Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.