Exhibit: From Equinox to Solstice

"Spirit of Aztlán" - Mark Vallen. Oil on canvas 2012 ©.

"Spirit of Aztlán" - Mark Vallen. Oil on canvas 2012 ©.

I will be premiering Spirit of Aztlán at La Galeria Gitana’s exhibition, From Equinox to Solstice: Reflections on a Mayan Calendar. The exhibit opens on October 27, 2012 and runs until December 21, 2012. Click here for a larger view of my painting.

La Galeria Gitana is located in the City of San Fernando, in the northwestern region of Los Angeles, California. From Equinox to Solstice will present the works of twenty artists. Fellow Los Angeles painter Raoul de la Sota, the curator of the group exhibit, asked me to participate in the show, which explores themes surrounding two important calendar events from ancient Mesoamerica - the Aztec Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and the end of the Maya calendar.

An Artists Reception will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The Aztec dance troupe, Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, will gather on the street outside of La Galeria Gitana where they will dance into the gallery for a blessing ceremony. The festivities will also include a performance by the indigenous music group, Kukulcan.

The ending date of the ancient Maya calendar - December 21, 2012 - has been interpreted by some as “the end of the world”. However, the Maya divided time into 394-year periods they called “baktuns”, on December 21, 2012 we conclude their last cycle of time, 13 Baktun. In Maya cosmology, one cycle of creation ended as another started; so while some see an ending, others see the completion of Maya cyclical time as a new beginning.

With my painting, Spirit of Aztlán, I hope to communicate that universal sense of the transcendent that touches even those of us who live in the steel and plastic cage of 21st century modernity. Aztlán was the mythical ancestral homeland of the Mexika/Aztec people, and in their language (Nahuatl) the word means “Place of the White Heron”. Mexican American folklore locates Aztlán in what is now the greater Southwest of the United States, and there is some evidence this may be true. Indigenous tribal groups in the U.S. like the Hopi, Pima, Shoshone, and others share the Uto-Aztecan language of Nahuatl-speaking peoples of central Mexico.

From Equinox to Solstice: Reflections on a Mayan Calendar, runs from October 27 through December 21, 2012. La Galeria Gitana is located at 120 N. Maclay, Suite E, San Fernando CA. 91340. For additional information call: (818) 898-7708. Click here for map directions. In conjunction with Día de los Muertos, on Saturday, November 3, curator Raoul De la Sota, will present a lecture on the myths and beliefs of the ancient Maya and Aztec civilizations. Contact the gallery to reserve seats for the Nov. 3rd talk. The hour and a half program starts at 7 p.m. and costs $5.

Circle “the end of the world” on your calendar, pack your “bug-out bag“, stockpile some food and water, and then head on over to La Galeria Gitana to view the last art show before the lights go out on our so-called civilization.

"Spirit of Aztlán" - Work in progress in my studio, late September 2012. Mark Vallen ©.

"Spirit of Aztlán" - Work in progress in my studio, late September 2012. Mark Vallen ©.

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