Home & Garden
Going the Folk Way
Photography by Thomas Veneklasen
After teaching art for 13 years in the public schools, Stevie Mack wanted to use her expertise to reach a broader audience. She opened her business, CRIZMAC Art & Cultural Marketplace, as a catalog company to develop art curriculum for educators. Over time she created a unique retail venue featuring folk art from around the world. One area of special interest for Mack is the Days of the Dead Dias de los Muertos. This traditional Mexican holiday, honoring the departed occurs Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) and Nov. 2 (All Souls Day). Mack and colleague Kitty Williams wrote a book about the history and traditions of the celebration including the Day of the Dead folk art. For more than a decade, she has offered tours to Oaxaca, Mexico, over the holiday. Today, CRIZMAC carries a wide range of folk art and work created by local artists. Mack also offers trips to various destinations and lectures, art classes and events specializing in folk art.
Tips and Trends
When booking a trip for the Days of the Dead celebration, choose a tour guide with extensive knowledge about the celebration, the art and the Day of the Dead artists.
Days of the Dead celebrations are growing in popularity across the country. If you are not traveling to Mexico, check out events and activities occurring in your community.
Before purchasing folk art, inquire about the artist, origin of the work and the techniques and materials used to create it. Quality varies and is reflected in the price.
Oaxacan woodcarving is an example of a craft with humble beginnings that has evolved to a fine craft status. Look for carvings made with exceptional technical skill and innovative detailing. Patterning, color and finish are important.
1642 N. Alvernon Way
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Wooden hand-painted Oaxacan animals; Stevie Mack holding a copy of her book; Retablo (center) and Day of the Dead d้cor; Day of the Dead, a new title by Gibbs Smith Publishing, written by Stevie Mack and Kitty Williams.