Retablos and Cassandra Barney
Last fall, I regaled my friend the famous artist, Cassi Barney, with tales of my pyrotechnic exploits from that past summer. (I documented these PITA adventures for posterity in the posts Taylorsville Dayzz 2008: Otherwise Known As..., Tis the Season--Part 1, Tis the Season--Part 1b: Where I Left Off, and Tis the Season: Part 2: Offending the Pyro God.) Cassi was thoroughly entertained.

Shortly thereafter, Cassi posted an entry on her blog saying, in part:

"Sometimes I wish paintings had powers. I wish they could right what is wrong.
I was talking to a girl the other night who had a streak of bad luck with fire. In my mind I painted her with fire in one hand and water in the other, wishing to give her balance.
I’ve carefully picked out each object depicted in a painting I’m working on right now in my studio. I’m doing this painting for someone specific and I thought of it as a blessing for her life. I want to paint blessings. I also want to paint my gratitude for beautiful life, for people I love.

I remembered Ex-votos I’d seen. I imagined myself a retablista, painting offerings of thanks. Ex-voto short for ex voto suscepto, "from the vow made" or in gratitude or devotion."
I was shocked and extremely touched that she chose to do one of me. You all know how bad last year was for me. When I found out Cassi was doing one of her amazing paintings specifically about my stories...well, I have to admit that I went all weepy girly. (I probably will again when I see the finished product in person on Friday, I'm like that.)

Cassi did 24 "little tin paintings" in all, all of them from stories submitted by others. Her show opens this Friday, June 19 at Kayo Gallery in SLC during the monthly Gallery Stroll. She recently finished them and posted pictures of all 24 retablos on her website.

This is "mine". I love it. I cannot wait see it in person, hug Cassi and thank her for such a beautiful blessing.
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