6th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration: Recycled Box Shrine!

Experience this workshop at your own pace

with handouts and video recording

Day of the Dead shrines are a type of folk art box popular throughout Central and South America, often devotional but sometimes merely quirky. They are made from common craft materials and traditionally combine elements from Roman Catholicism, mestizo spirituality, and popular culture. Within the shrine there is a central figure or symbol for whose honor the little altar has been created. Day of the Dead shrines are usually striking colors, often contrasting bright and dark, and typically embellished with wild abandon.

Making a shrine is a lovely way to celebrate the Aztec/Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), a multi-day holiday honoring the lives of departed loved ones. In this workshop you’ll make a folk art-style altar from a recycled cracker box (or similar) and common art supplies, decorated with a variety of design elements in the supplied pdfs.

You can honor a departed loved one (human or furry),  memorialize a favorite celebrity or even honor an idea or concept.

Shrines shown here honor Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols and America’s Got Talent’s Nightbirde. Additional celebrity images included in the downloads: Betty White, Naomi Judd, Olivia Newton-John, Queen Elizabeth, Harry Belafonte, Desmond Tutu, Elvis Presley, Frida Kahlo, and others. 

You will get the recording and handouts from the live workshop which was held on Sunday Oct 30, 2022.

We will be using a recycled cracker/pasta/coffee filter box such as those shown below as our foundation.



A downloadable,  20-page pdf with images, templates, patterns and instructions (be sure you can open pdfs on your device) and access to the video recording of the live workshop.


Basic Supplies needed: recycled cardboard box, photo of your honoree (or choose one of the celebrities in the pdf handouts, glues, two colors (or more) of acrylic paint, brush, printer access (before and/or during workshop), card stock and paper (Astro-Bright card stock is recommended for the riot of color usually associated with Day of the Dead) and other optional embellishments if desired. Mod Podge is useful for adhering images.  The pdf download you receive when you register offers more details.

Ways to find out more about the popular “Day of the Dead” holiday:

Watch the movie “Coco”.

Enjoy this 4-minute music video, “Calaverita” by La Santa Cecilia, one of my favorites!

Below that is a lovely new music video,”Remember” by MaMuse, featuring Claudia Cuentas, shared by OVA student Mary Shapiro – Thanks, Mary!




Upcoming Workshops: Times and Dates TBA

Learn by copying: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Poppies
You’ll learn Meryl Ann’s valuable methods as you paint a copy of Oriental Poppies, 18” x 24.”
The initial underpainting is done in acrylics in order to create depth of color, the top painting is done in oils for ease in blending. Copying from the Old Masters is one of the most basic traditional learning methods – in fact, the reason art museums were founded was in order to provide great works for art students to copy!

Elements of Art: Keys of Color

Students receive a pdf of Meryl Ann’s  30-page workbook, Elements of Art: Keys of Color, and during workshop times, will complete the color charts that accompany the workbook. Students go at their own pace. Supplies: a set of gouache (not acrylic gouache) and brushes.

Drawing Tips and Secrets

Demos and hands on activities to train you eye and hand, and a peek into some of the secrets the Masters used for accuracy in drawing.