Evening Assembly


This is about all the crap you leave behind when you die. Things you wrap, store and tuck away for a later date of living.

“Never wrap your clothes in dry cleaning bags. People think it preserves things but I’ve seen so many beautiful vintage clothes destroyed after years and years of hanging in plastic. Use cloth or nothing.”

–My Aunt Juanita who sorts and runs estate sales in Fort Worth, Texas

Women tend to do this, at least, in my experience. When my Aunt Agnes died 20 years ago, my mom and I cleaned out her small farmhouse and attic. Old Reader’s Digests, Catholic Digests, calendars, missionary campaign mailers. We opened windows and threw it out all on the ground, suffocated by dust… some of which still has yet to be removed this year when the remainder of her house is torn down by my dad. My cousins, aunts and uncles, mom and dad sorted through my Grandma’s effects after she died nearly 10 years ago. We rifled through her jewelry two days after her funeral. First thing on the trash pile: cards received with only a signature. Neither one of them were hoarders by any means. 

Why did she keep all these things?

We marveled in frustration.

With my Grandma’s death in mind and a 2012 New Year’s resolution to “get organized,” I threw out an enormous stack of birthday cards and otherwise impersonal ephemera saved since I was 9 years old. When I moved into my new home, purchased with my very own money, I was grateful I’d done this. It made packing so much easier.


My Papa, however, who died in 1998, left behind very little. I don’t know if it’s because he was poor, or didn’t have much space in his small trailer, or because he was male.


I don’t want people be burdened with cleaning up after me when I die. And yet, there are parts of myself that I just can’t let go. That I must organize and store where they can be easily found should the need arise, MacGyver-style. And other parts I must fold as tiny as possible and tuck away in the bottom shoebox of a stack of shoeboxes, or bury in the files of my computer.


This isn’t meant to be morbid, it’s just a fact. Why else are candles that you buy in the store shrink-wrapped?

Installation is made entirely from recycling, craft scraps, unused art and home supplies.

  • Thrifted unused paper doilies
  • Plastic bags from our recycle box
  • Discarded thread and ball fringe
  • Unused pins
  • Thrifted shrinkwrapped silver candles
  • Vintage Bohemian crystal candleholders my Aunt Juanita gave me from an estate sale
  • Floor sweepings
  • Cloth scrap from curtain my Aunt Agnes purchased or sewed in the 1950’s
  • Unused tape, glue; found paper and screws/anchors


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