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Papier-Mâché Artist Marco Nava Injects Life Into Day of the Dead

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It doesn’t take much to bring people together if you’ve got fine art, good drinks, and great memories.

Marco Nava’s first love was dance, and he shared it with others when he became a dance teacher. But if you’ve ever tried to dance with anything in your hand (it was wedding cake, wasn’t it? It’s always wedding cake), you know how hard it can be to balance both the object and your own gyrating body. His solution? Make lightweight papier-mâché props that can move with the dancer. Sensible and under budget -- neat!

But once he started making cartonería constructs, he couldn’t stop. The art proved to be a greater calling, and now he makes paper sculptures year-round. Dia de los Muertos is his busy season, however, and a particularly joyful way to be busy, considering it’s all wrapped up in his childhood memories. The Day of the Dead “brings people together,” he observes, to create “good ambiance” together in a “good vibe.”

Now that’s worth raising a glass to.