|Below is an excerpt from The Coloradoan Newspaper of Ft Collins Colorado from a write up that was done on the exhibition:
A dying art
'Grave Matters' exhibit tells a history of how the dead are remembered
By STACY NICK
"Death doesn't have to be morbid.
It can be colorful, candid and even comedic at times.
"(In Mexico) people make death their friend because it's close to you all the time," said Janice Currier, curator of exhibits for the Loveland Museum/Gallery
as she installed pieces for the museum's upcoming show, Grave Matters: The Art of Memory and Mourning.
Currier hopes that when people see the more than 100 photos, drawings, paintings and 3-D installations they won't be offended. The museum isn't
making light of death, but examining the way people around the globe have used death and mourning as inspiration over the centuries.
"Death is sad, but art related to death can be quite beautiful and vibrant. There is a real sense of joyousness in many of these pieces," she said.
"People hear that the title of the exhibit is "Grave Matters" and they think everything will be black and gray," said Tom Katsimpalis, the museum's curator
The first thing audiences will see when they walk into the exhibit will be the overwhelming array of oranges, yellows, reds and golds of Laurie Zuckerman's
installation "Forbidden Fruit.""
Directly to the left of that installation is a group of African objects, some brightly painted and some adorned with colorful beads and feathers.
"While the exhibit focuses on the beauty of memorials, it doesn't shy away from controversy.
Included in "Grave Matters" are grave issues, like war and politics as well as the beauty in funerary masks, alters and medieval and religious art. Protests
of the Vietnam and Iraqi wars are included in the exhibit as are photos commemorating veterans and icons related to the holocaust.
This exhibit has been Currier's dream for a long time.
It began several years ago with the desire to bring the Head of St. John the Baptist to Loveland. His Attending Saints, too.
Not their actual heads obviously, but a carved and gilded alabaster tablet, "Head of St. John the Baptist With Attending Saints."
Owned by the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery in Victoria, British Columbia, the tablet was first used as an altar piece and is one of the finest examples
of medieval art in North America, Currier said.
It gave her the idea to try to put together an exhibit based on altars and funerary art, but it quickly avalanched into something much more. While the
theme of death remained, the exhibit took on social, political and cultural aspects.
"I thought, 'I won't live long enough to show all of these,' " she joked. "
Originally published May 25, 2006