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Haitian Visit A GREAT Success!

IMG_7206Last week, as you may know, It’s Cactus sponsored two Haitian artists, Cineus Louime and Wiseton Brutus, for a week of demonstrations at three events in the local Salinas area.  Read their biographies here: http://www.itscactus.com/the-artists/haiti.php

With all due modesty it was a great success!  There were many purposes to the visit, among them promoting the art and the artists who produce it.  In addition, we wanted to give these men the opportunity to see what happens to their art when it reaches this country, to help them understand how the art is organized, marketed and distributed, and also for them to meet the people who love and appreciate their work. Finally, we wanted them to have the opportunity to sell their own work and return home to share their financial and experiential rewards  with their families, their businesses, and their community,

To accomplish these goals, we first took them to the shop and to the warehouse.  At theIMG_7256 warehouse, they saw how their work is received, packaged, and distributed.  They noted the critical importance of maintaining high quality in their product and also the necessity for consistent levels of inventory to meet demand.  At the shop, they saw how their work is displayed, and how critical sharing knowledge and pleasing presentation is to the act of selling.  Cineus and Wiseton will use these insights and information to great advantage upon returning to their own workshops in Haiti.

From there, it was on to the markets! We participated in two local farmer’s markets in Monterey and a holiday bazaar, called “Flair on the Farm” outside Salinas.  In each case, the response was overwhelming.  All events were well attended and the artists were often surrounded with curious passersby who quickly became patrons of the art. To be completely honest, it didn’t hurt that producing metal sculpture creates a noticeable  racket. BANG, CLANG, CLANG, BANG! They would have been rather hard to miss. Nevertheless, their work was warmly and enthusiastically IMG_7396received, as evidenced by briskly turned transactions at the coffer. We are so pleased to report that at the end of those three sales events, Cineus and Wiseton earned over $3500 apiece.  In a country where the average daily wages is $2,  such a cash infusion will have a tremendous positive impact on their lives.   A huge and heartfelt “Thank you” to all who watched, visited, and shopped with us.  Your dollars make a difference!

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

 


The Haitians are coming!

Cineus Louime, with one of his beautiful tree of life designs.

Cineus Louime, with one of his beautiful tree of life designs.

After more than a year of trying, all of the stars have aligned and the arrival of Cineus Louime

and Wiseton Brutus from Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti is imminent.  They will be staying in Salinas and demonstrating their work at several locations in the area next week to include farmer’s markets in downtown Monterey (on Alvarado St. Nov. 18th 4-7pm and at Monterey Peninsula College (Nov. 21st 10am – 2pm),  as well as at “Flair at the Farm Holiday Boutique” on Old Stage Road south of Salinas. (At The Barn 10am – 5pm.)

Cineus Louime and Wiseton Brutus have both been involved in metal sculpture for most of their adult lives.  Each has his own shop in the village and each has been producing beautiful folk art pieces for it’s Cactus for over a dozen years.  (To see Cineus’ work, click here: http://www.itscactus.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_artist=5 To see Wiseton’s work, click here:  http://www.itscactus.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_artist=107  )

We are so pleased to bring them to California, to broaden their experience base, to inspire their art, and to give them the opportunity to meet the people who purchase their work.

If past experience is any indication, this visit will be an impactful one for all involved.  The

Brutus Wiseton, with his wife in the doorway of their home.

Brutus Wiseton, with his wife in the doorway of their home.

artists will be able to sell a great deal of their work in a short amount of time and bring the proceeds back to their homes and their community.   For our part, the value of working alongside them and sharing in their success in such a personal way is tremendous.  We hope that you will be able to support our efforts by attending one of these events.  We are CERTAIN you will have fun doing so!

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus


It’s Never Over

All Souls Procession in Tucson 2013

All Souls Procession in Tucson 2013

According to the calendar, the Day of the Dead has come and gone for 2014.  But just because the calendar says so, doesn’t mean it IS so.  In Tucson, AZ, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.  The largest Day of the Dead celebration in the country will occur in the form of the “All Soul’s Processional” this Sunday at nightfall.

The Procession was born in 1990 in the mind of Susan Johnson as a creative means to express her grief.  Mourning the recent passing of her father and inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos observances, Johnson felt she wanted to honor her father in celebration and through performance art.  Her piece was enthusiastically  received and the Tucson art community was moved to perpetuate the Procession as a new and growing tradition.
This year, up to  100,000 participants are expected to parade on the streets of downtown Tucson for a two-mile long, brilliantly costumed procession that culminates in the burning of a large urn filled with handwritten offerndas from the public in memory of deceased loved ones. Inside the event are myriads of installation art, altars, and performers, some of whom have spent months in preparation for the event. The All Souls Procession, and indeed, the entire All Souls Weekend is a celebration of rememberance for those who have gone before.  Read all about the event here – and maybe even get inspired to create an “All Souls” event in your area! http://allsoulsprocession.org/
The Day of the Dead is wildly celebrated at “It’s Cactus,” too. The store and the website are filled all year ’round with Day of the Dead art in a wide variety of media, colors, shapes, sizes and price ranges.  (Click here to view the wonderous array. http://www.itscactus.com/catalog/Day_of_Dead-45-1.html )  At “It’s Cactus,” it just ain’t over when it’s over.  It’s NEVER over!
Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

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