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migration: the journey of the mariposa and paloma altar

hundreds of hands™

#015 “Migration”: The Journey of the Mariposa and Paloma Altar

Nimbus Arts presented “Migration”, our 2022 Día de los Muertos Community Art Installation, designed to show reverence for the Monarch Butterfly, or Mariposa, as part of our annual community celebration of Mexican American culture and art.  More than 120 free art kits were distributed to families and individuals, along with information on the Monarch Butterfly’s unique migration journey, amazing cultural symbolism, and immense importance as pollinators.  Community artists of all ages and ability levels transformed the Mariposa forms into personalized works of art, each telling its own story emphasizing the Mariposa’s migration between the USA and Mexico, and the parallel immigration stories of many members of our community.

The finished artworks were then assembled into a large public installation displayed in downtown St. Helena from Monday, October 24 through Sunday, November 6, 2022.

In the Mexican culture and Día De Los Muertos tradition, some believe that be being visited by the Mariposa is a visit from the spirit and soul of loved ones who have passed.  Our Nimbus Arts Hundreds of Hands Migration Community Arts installation built upon and extended this tradition to signify the strength of our community and reverence for the important role the Mariposa hold in our culture.

Our annual Día de Los Muertos Community Festival was held on Sunday, October 30 and Nimbus Arts featured the Paloma or Dove, a symbol of peace, love, and purity, as the central element of this year’s community altar.  Doves appear in the mythologies and folklore of many cultures around the world. The Aztecs and other Mexican Indian tribes saw the dove as a symbol of love, associated with the goddess Xochiquetzal and often depicted on wedding ornaments, while in Christianity, the dove is associated with the Holy Spirit.  Event attendees participated in and enjoyed a wide variety activities and programs, ranging from Folkloric dance and music, traditional Mexican cuisine, cultural crafts, and family altar exhibits, while Nimbus artists led a family art activity decorating Dove candle holders, a traditional Mexican form.

The “Migration” community art program was generously sponsored by the City of St. Helena and the Maldonado Family Foundation. We are deeply thankful for their support.

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