Keep Westword Free


Jerry Vigil wants you to know that the Carreta de Muerte — or “Death Cart” — has nothing to do with Day of the Dead. “It actually has to do with Holy Week,” the artist explains. Here’s the story: A long time ago, the Catholic Spaniards who had colonized southern Colorado pulled out of the area and took their religious infrastructure with them, leaving laymen, or “penitentes,” to take over the religious life of the community. During Holy Week — the week preceding Easter, which is generally the zenith of the Hispanic-Catholic religious year — one of the traditions that emerged under those penitentes was that of the “death cart,” in which the religious followers would wheel the cart around town to symbolize the figure of Death passing through.

During the month of August at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, Vigil and three other artists are collaborating on their own Death Cart, which will be the centerpiece of an exhibition showcasing all four artists’ individual work. Although he concedes that it’s not Holy Week now, Vigil says, “The reason we’re bringing it out now is we just wanted to do a contemporary version. The items on the cart represent current human vices, like cards, alcohol, drug paraphernalia — stuff like that.”

And, really, when we’re talking about death carts, who needs a reason? The exhibit, titled Cada Mente es un Mundo (Every Mind Is a World), features the work of Jerry Vigil, Stephan Armijo, Michael Canada and Rob Yancey. It opens tonight a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at CHAC, 772 Santa Fe Drive, and stays up through August 28; for information, call 303-571-0440 or visit www.chacweb.org.
Aug. 6-28, 2010

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.