6th Annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) art exhibition
-featuring Vince Packard, Ursula Rauh, J-Rome Bragg, Larry McFarland,
Trey Berry
-paintings, sculptural installations, masks
-Halim El-Dabh drum performance at The Opening

October 25, 8pm. Opening Reception
-coincides with the annual downtown Kent Halloween parade
-exhibit runs through November 29, 2008

Images from the Opening

Dia de los Muertos description:

Come celebrate our sixth annual Day of the Dead show. This festive
Mexican Holiday honors all those who have passed before us. But let us
not be somber. There will be music, food, drinks, paintings and
sculpture. Like the celebration of a birthday, this holiday reconfirms
annually the love, goodwill, and generosity that the beloved can count
on, no matter that they are dead.

From Wikipedia…

Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in many parts of the world,
typically on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day).

The Day of the Dead is also celebrated to a lesser extent in other Latin
American countries; for example, it is a public holiday in Brazil, where
many Brazilians celebrate it by visiting cemeteries and churches. The
holiday is also observed in the Philippines. Observance of the holiday
has spread to Mexican-American communities in the United States, where
in some locations, the traditions are being extended. Similarly-themed
celebrations also appear in some Asian and African culture.

Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective
of some other cultures, celebrants typically approach the Day of the
Dead joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All
Saints' Day and All Souls Day, the traditional mood is much brighter
with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and
celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is
the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.

About the Artists

Ursula Rauh


About me:

I am ridiculous in so many ways. But I love people and human potential,
I revere life and all its details, and I think ridiculous is fun.

Artist Statement:

Drawing faces, everywhere I went, this was becoming an obsession. I had
a sketchbook and pencil at all times, capturing the likeness of whomever
I was struck by. I have drawn thousands of faces spanning many years and
countries, in love with each subject’s individual beauty. It was this
that got me to paint. I needed to add color and texture to match the
personalities of my passions. I would come up with a concept, a way to
tell something about the human experience, and I would find the right
faces to fit the idea. The ideas started to take over, transcending
faces or style. Biological equations and organic perfection,
metaphysical discoveries, exploration into the meaning of life, the
manifestation of love and beauty, these became my obsession. Which, of
course, brought me right back to that which to me embodies all of those
things: the human soul, shining out from the faces that house it. I
paint because I can’t not. I am driven by the urgency to transmit an
important idea, to praise something so beautiful it takes my breath
away, to feel the smooth, colorful flow of creativity moving through me.
I see the potential for peace and therefore wish to depict a pathway to
its awakening within each of us, hoping to remind us that we are
connected, free, beautiful, one. I see the world in frames of aesthetic
perfection, when the tree branches infiltrate the sunset sky in such a
way, I have no choice but to let my brush imitate the delicate lines
upon the horizon. I have been known to paint a lot of naked women. To
me, every woman I paint is Gaia, the goddess of creation. Perhaps the
most important thing we as humans can do for peace is to embrace and
exalt the feminine energy within all of us, bringing us back into
balance. When I do “performance painting” and paint with live music, I
tap in to the creative stream and intend to send it out visually and
energetically, raising the vibration of the room and exemplifying
intuitive freedom through my own experience.

Trey Berry


Trey Berry “Visionary Artist”

Painting to Trey Berry is creating out of his inner world. In his work a
connection with a higher consciousness is expressed. Nothing exists that
does not touch the other. The more we become aware of our inner world,
the more our relationship changes with our outer world or reality. The
understanding of the subconscious and discovering the meaning of super
conscious symbols that speak to all of humanity is the objective of his
work. His paintings imagine mystic and symbolic worlds that express
wonder not fear of the unknown.

Trey, an immigrant from Boulder, Colorado, currently lives in Akron,
Ohio. He recognized at an early age that his passion for life was the
creation of beautiful objects. He studied fine art and design at Memphis
State University and most recently studied with Martina Hoffman and
Robert Venosa where he was introduced to the Mische technique of the old
masters. He has been exhibited nationally and his work is in private
collections throughout the United States and Canada.

Vince Packard


When I was born my dad Raymond was teaching art deep in the Appalachian
eastern Kentucky county of Pike, my mom, Ellen, being a beautiful ballet
dancer refugee from Berlin Germany. Riddle: The year I was born is
exactly the same upside down. The whole year. As in 1001, 1691, it
doesn't happen again until the year 6009.

I grew up pretty much in Akron Ohio playing in my dad's west exchange
street art gallery. That could be really fun with shows by Peter Max and
Mark Mothersbough, and the big blow-up soft sculpture car that all the
kid's came around to jump on. But often the art could be really boring
and I came to trust my child's eye that I never wanted to go the boring,
elitist, academic route.

A couple years in Venice beach California with my brothers Raynard and
Damon and dad, and then hitching around the country wound me up at a
Native American demonstration in Washington called the Longest Walk.
With the Native culture I refined a perspective on the environment and
the tribal challenge to our destructive culture.

Teenage angst and rebellion led me into the punk music/art scene just in
time for the Reagan era. The idea that Americans elected that idiot for
a president pushed me into punk and alternative ideas as far as I could go.

I did a stint in Michigan growing veggies and milking goats at the farm
outside of Lansing. I liked that direction and before long me and Liz
found ourselves in the backwoods of Lincoln County, West Virginia,
building a solar powered cabin and riding horses every day. The outhouse
hippy redneck scene was fulfilling and my art geared more towards
environmental activism and wildlife and my son Corey was born in 1986.
the end of the decade me and Liz split and I headed over the Ohio River
to Athens Ohio.

Dave Nicholi Araca helped me explore the tattooing scene which I had
dabbled in since I was 14. This got me traveling to tattoo conventions
near and far selling my design sheets in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New
Orleans and everywhere in between. Sadly, Dave died unexpectedly,
leaving me to fake my way into tattoo shops. The 90's saw me work in
shops in Kalamazoo Michigan, Lexington and Richmond Kentucky, Athens
Georgia and Pigeon Forge Tennessee. I spent 3 fun years tattooing in San
Marcos Texas at Touch of a Feather and 3 more in the hoppin'
neighborhood of Little 5 points in Atlanta at Urban Tribe Tattoos.

Tattooing was great but I wanted to take some time off to explore other
mediums. It's been a tricky transition, when I was close to destitution
I had some horrible experiences in some crappy tattoo shops that burned
me bad. This new millennium has me back up to Kent Ohio doing wonderful
fun projects with Jexo at Standing Rock Cultural Arts. My work with the
kid's plays, my art shows, mask workshops and puppets at the North Water
Street Gallery and the friends, family and community have kept life good.