When: Fri., Oct. 12, 5:30-8:30 p.m. 2012
For you people too busy living to give death a second though, you should know Missoula’s Festival of the Dead has become an integral part of the Missoula community. The festival tends toward the macabre, but it’s lively, with a parade through downtown featuring skeletons, ghoulish masks and even Santa Claus. The event is based on the Mexican Day of the Dead and functions as a remembrance of family and friends who have passed away. For Second Friday, the ZACC unveils it’s Day of the Dead Group Show as a precursor to the upcoming festival. More than 25 artists are taking part, and the pieces run the gamut in style and technique, but all seek to express the grotesque. The grotesque is what drew artist Cindy Laundrie Marshall to participate in the show. Marshall first became interested in the value of celebrating death when she took a trip to South Africa to meet her pen pal. There, for the first time, she saw people celebrating death rather than fearing and ignoring it. For years afterward, she worked on abstract paintings—not necessarily related to her experience—while foregoing drawings, other than to sketch out large painting projects. Marshall says, “I forgot about the simplicity and accessibility of drawing. You can get into bed with it.” The different medium and different size, and thinking back to her time in South Africa, has re-invigorated Marshall. “I feel re-inspired by the images that came out of the sketches for the show. I hadn’t drawn since before the kids were born [seven or eight years].” Like many artists in Missoula, Marshall works, takes care of her family and ekes out time to create more. She relates that she’s never dressed as a “sexy” anything at Halloween, nurse or otherwise, instead embracing “the horrible and creepy.” Her drawings of bones and skeletons are not horrifying, not creepy; they are a fearless peek into anatomy. —Jason McMackin 5:30–8:30 PM, Free.