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About Carly Garay:

I am a visual artist and teacher originally from Homer, Alaska. I have recently returned to Homer to be near my family and this community of creative and intelligent people. I am also here to appreciate and enjoy the tremendous natural beauty around Kachemak Bay, as well as to restore a sense of balance and home to my personal life.

I have a formal education in both art and art education. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I have earned a Masters degree in Art Education with a focus on Social Justice from Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon.

I have no formal religious affiliations and maintain an eclectic and intuitive approach to magick, spirituality, and art. I have been blessed with the experience of living in Oregon and being able to attend the Pacific Northwest Magickal Conference and the Portland Plant Medicine gathering for several years. That community (many of whom emerged from the Blue Iris Mystery School), opened my mind and my heart to a wide variety of perspectives on subjects such as magickal practices, storytelling, time, ancestral lineages, dreamwork, honoring and respecting cultural heritage, recognizing and dismantling systems of oppression, connecting with allies, and creating community through non-traditional educational offerings.

I am grateful to bring these experiences to community spaces where we can co-create, grow, and learn things that bring us a deeper sense of connection and wellbeing.

This October you are invited to join a workshop on constructing Ancestor Altar Boxes.

This is an opportunity for us to gather and discuss the cross cultural practice of ancestor worship. We will construct small boxes using cardboard or cigar boxes as a base. These will serve as our “altars” for relatives who have passed on.

Within these small boxes we will be creating space to remember, connect, and communicate with our relatives who dwell in the realm of the spirit.

We all have our own unique thoughts, perspectives, and practices regarding death, ancestors and the realm of spirits. My intention with this workshop is to express these thoughts and ideas in conversation during the creative process of making. At the end of the class we will each have a visually compelling Altar box to use in whatever way feels right for each of us.

Wikipedia describes the veneration of the dead (including ancestors) as being based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social, political, and technological complexity, And it remains an important component of various religious practices in modern times. The social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values such as *Filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of family lineages.

*Filial piety: In Confuscian/Chinese buddhist and taoist ethics “filial piety” is a virtue of respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors.

What to bring for the workshop:  (I will bring some boxes and collage materials)

A smallish cardboard box, or cigar box, collage materials

What to include in your Altar Box? 

Memories, photographs, symbols, lights, stones, plants, notes, messages, the elements, offerings, questions, collaged images, found objects, food, incense, cultural heritage,  anything you want….