Angels Come to Bay Shore

It’s been years since photographer Vicki Ragan looked at her collection of Oaxacan regional folk art. We’re standing in the Second Avenue Firehouse surrounded by the collection of hundreds of wood carvings, clay, metal and photographs. Ragan rented the space to sort it all out with hopes of donating it to a museum. But in the process of going through the artwork she was inspired to create a show featuring the angels in the collection.

The Second Avenue Firehouse presents “Oaxacan Angles,” an exhibition pairing photographs of village scenes with regional folk art on Sunday, Dec. 7, from noon to 4:30pm. The exhibit shows the importance of angels in the daily lives of the Oaxaca people. It’s a subject Ragan studied closely while living in Oaxaca. She’s produced books and articles on the Oaxacan angels.

“Angels are their connection between church, children and God,” Ragan said. “It’s such a different look at angels.”

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The angels in the collection are colorful, folk art carvings. Some have exquisite details with embroidery painted on them. There are more than 50 different styles of the angels in the collection. Ragan collected them from the wood carvers when she lived in Oaxaca. At the time she was working on the books, she also photographed children dressed as angels during festivals in Oaxaca. Most of the collection is from the 1990s.

The exhibit will begin with a lecture by Ragan, followed by a reading and awards ceremony from Bay Shore High School’s “The Bards of Bay Shore.” An artist and author reception will close out the night.