Hairstylist honors Selena with Day of the Dead altar (video)

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Oct. 29, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.
Updated Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Artist and hairstylist Timmy Windoskey, of Victoria, prepares his Day of the Dead altar of the late singer Selena Quintanilla at The Nave Museum in Victoria.

Artist and hairstylist Timmy Windoskey, of Victoria, prepares his Day of the Dead altar of the late singer Selena Quintanilla at The Nave Museum in Victoria.   IAN TERRY for The Victoria Advocate

A bundle of black roses fringed with glitter rested next to a collection of framed photographs.

Victoria hairstylist Timmy Windoskey placed his finger over his mouth, studying the space before him.

Windoskey, 31, was at the Nave Museum on Sunday preparing a Day of the Dead altar in honor of his biggest idol - Selena Quintanilla, the deceased princess of Tejano music.

But to Windoskey, who recently met and befriended the famed star's older brother, A.B. Quintanilla, she is still very much alive.

Windoskey was one of 20 community members asked by the Nave to build a commemorative altar as part of the museum's annual Day of the Dead exhibit.

Felicia Vela, his close friend and Nave education and publicity coordinator, invited him to contribute an altar to the exhibit.

"When Felicia asked me, I was like, actually, I would love to," Windoskey said.

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a Mexican tradition in which people create altars - often with personal touches such as favorite foods or clothing - to honor their deceased loved ones.

Windoskey said he spent about $100 at the Dollar Store last week in preparation.

"I have a friend living in Cabo right now - Margo Marek, a former Nave intern - who sent me some authentic Day of the Dead decorations," Windoskey said.

One of the focal points of his design is a gold record awarded to Selena, given to him as a gift from her older brother.

Quintanilla also gave Windoskey a white jacket he wore to an award show and a black sweater - both with images of Selena incorporated in the design.

In the center of his altar piece, he plans to play videos of Selena concerts on a silent loop.

"She lives," exclaimed Katharine Dunnam Tretter as she watched Windoskey set up his altar.

Tretter, a jewelry artist living in Austin but originally from Victoria, said she remembers listening to Selena with her family as a teen.

The 30-year-old was visiting the museum Sunday, watching other artists set up their pieces.

"This is my favorite show of the year," said Tretter, who will sell her jewelry during the museum's festival Saturday. "It's a big deal for the community."

For years, the Nave Museum has asked community members to contribute altars for their annual exhibit, said Sharon Steen, Nave board exhibit chairwoman.

Steen said she remembers when having 20 artists exhibit their work inside the museum was a goal - now, it's a standard.

The exhibit has no headlining artist; it's all about community stories here, Steen said.

Windoskey plans to weave a memory of his mother into the altar. She died when he was a teenager.

They both shared a love for Selena, who broke the glass ceiling for women in the Tejano music scene - previously dominated by male artists.

His mother died from breast cancer at age 46.

Windoskey said he inherited his love for the Tejano star from his grandmother.

"My mother loved Selena because her mother loved Selena," Windoskey said. "It was the music she would listen to when she missed (my grandmother)."



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