Artist: Alexis Franklin, Rutgers Newark
Title: Celebrants, 2015, glass, copper wire, pillow, fabric, American flag, 2.5”x13.25”x 13.5”

“Celebrants” emphasizes the grieving process after a death and the idea that the transition between life and death is very fragile and should be celebrated in a respectful, personalized, and delicate manner. I want my book to illuminate ‘holding on’ to our fallen loved ones. Alvin Conyers wanted to hold on to his Southern traditions, especially funeral ceremonies, when he moved North. My book reflects Conyers’ perception of a respectful, and personal ceremonial grieving process. Conyers was very religious, with strong faith in God. I wanted to illuminate my book with his presence, to create a personalized experience. One has to turn each page, handling one fragile piece at a time, a ceremony in itself. Alvin Conyers emotional connection to funeral traditions touched me at a crucial moment in my life, with the recent loss of my father still a delicate heartbreak.

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