Dear Curiosity Journal,

Our Dia de Muertos Celebration continued on Wednesday as Gaby, Andrea, Arielle and I visited our friends at the Pump House Regional Arts Center to build an ofrenda with the La Crosse community. The Mexican Folk Art Collective is presenting their collection through this Saturday, and the ofrenda is the grand finale. We filled the car with art and marigolds and were met with a warm welcome from Executive Director, Allison Krzych, and the gallery team. It was truly a delight to work alongside the Pump House staff and volunteers. There was a flurry of activity as news crews, school groups, and patrons streamed into the gallery. I love listening to the beautiful conversations inspired by curiosity about the ofrenda, the art, and the flowers. Once the ofrenda was set, I strolled around the exhibit, taking in each piece with a more dedicated attention, and swimming in the serendipitous interconnection of it all. I’ll just name a few; Gaby, Andrea, and Allison all met through the Pump House event, Artspire in 2019. I attended my first Artspire in 2017, the day before I started dating Rufus. When we reconnected, I was wearing a dress I purchased at Artspire, which is one of his favorites (“The Moon Dress”). I wore it on our wedding day, June 8th, 2020. Earlier that year, I attended my first Mexican Folk Art Collective online workshop with Pedro Netzahualcoyotl on traditional weaving and natural dyes, where I first saw his stunning Catrina piece and learned the meaning of this figure. Now I’m standing in front of it, next to Catrinas I helped to create. Art truly does shorten the distance between us and weave our stories together in the most wonderful ways.