By Vicki Gibson of Highland Park.

Art, the Pandemic and You

2020 Arts & Culture Editions More News October Picks

Picks from the people who bring you the Boulevard Sentinel

These are challenging times and art is a way to process, explore and express the challenges. From Boyle Heights, Elysian Valley and Highland Park, here are three invitations to participate in the arts in October.

Mes de los Muertos: The Ancestors Would Approve

In advance of its 47th annual (virtual) celebration of Dia de los Muertos on November 1, Self Help Graphics & Arts (SHG) in Boyle Heights will stream a month-long series of free art workshops over its SHG YouTube channel.

Developed by SHG teaching artists, the workshops will include Paper Flowers with Dewey Tafoya on Tuesday, October 6 at  1 p.m.; Papel Picado with Daniel Gonzalez on Tuesday, October 13 at 1 p.m.; Shoebox Altar with Martha Carrillo on Tuesday, October 20 at 1 p.m.; Bike Ofrenda with Sandra de la Loza on Saturday, October 24 at 1 p.m.; and Dia de los Muertos Face Painting with Gabby Claro on Tuesday, October 27 at 1 p.m.

No experience is necessary. A list of supplies for you to purchase will be provided prior to the stream date of each workshop. 

SHG also encourages you to submit photos of your loved ones using this form by Sunday, October 11 for display on a community altar at Grand Park in downtown L.A. The altar will be part of a Noche de Ofrenda observance from October 24 to November 4. 

From Frogtown with Love: A Competition

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective (EVAC) is sponsoring an online art competition under the theme “Resilience and Renewal.” Artists are invited to create and submit artwork, in any medium, that portrays their individual experience of the pandemic.

The deadline to enter is Saturday, October 10. One entry per artist (10 MB size limit/TIFF, PNG, JPG). Top price is $500. Four runners up will be awarded $100 each. Artists ages 18 and under can submit under the “emerging artist” category for a $150 prize.

Submit entries to: For more information, visit:

Winners will be announced via EVAC social media and website on Sunday, October 18, the last day of an online festival from October 16 to 18 to celebrate “The Art of Frogtown.”

The festival will offer programming and activities for kids and adults including workshops, exhibits, performances and demonstrations, live streamed on EVAC’s website, social media and Zoom.

One Artist’s Way: Vicki Gibson of Highland Park

Vicki Gibson’s artwork captures her friends’ words and favorites colors.

To cope with the challenges of sheltering in place, Vicki Gibson of Highland Park emailed the following three questions to dozens of friends and acquaintances:
What one word inspires you during this COVID 19?  2) Why? 3) What is your favorite color?

For each response, Gibson has created a piece of mini-art, 8 by 1-1/2 inches, to capture the essence of each word in the chosen color. 

Gibson’s art stems from her practice as a master of Reiki, a form of energy healing. Gibson believes that the process of creating art from her friends’ words and favorite colors preserves the word and its importance in ways beyond what just saying or writing the word would do.

In effect, the artwork lets participants “look underneath our mask and see what is really important in our life,” says Gibson, adding that anyone can take on a similar project. All it takes is listening and openness to the inspiration of the words and favorite colors that friends share. Gibson is interested in putting together an art show of her project and those of others when it becomes safe to do so. You can contact Gibson and see her artwork on Instagram @VibrationalArt444.

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T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

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