Halloween Centerpiece from Marcus Akinlana

I recently bought my first home and was excited to start decorating for Halloween since it is my favorite holiday.

IMG_20150925_204109555My mantel needed some spooky attractions to look at so I start with the typical orange and purple lights some pumpkin garland and of course skulls and skeleton hands.

The wall was still a bit bland so I was trying to think of a good image that would really bring out the fun of Halloween but could also be reused in the future. IMG_20151028_102334

Our friends bought us this wonderful print from Jazz musician, Marcus Akinlana, when they visited New Orleans last May. They described his Jazz music as “moving and inspiring” so they wanted to bring a piece of the artist back for us. Unsure how to frame the picture when I received it I knew it would be perfect for my Halloween Centerpiece!

This piece is titled “The Baron Ghede”. The image represents a Baron or Leader of the Ghede Family. IMG_20150928_125027260_HDRI learned Ghede is the god of the dead in voodoo, but it is also the name of the group of deities who belong to his retinue. He is a very wise man, for his knowledge is an accumulation of the knowledge of all the deceased. He stands on the center of all the roads that lead to Guinee, the afterworld. Ghede is usually represented as an undertaker, dressed completely in black wearing dark glasses. IMG_20150928_124802823The Ghede Spirits are Celebrated on Nov. 2, along with the Catholic All Souls‘ Day, in Haiti’s Vodun tradition.

I took my piece to North Penn Art in Lansdale because I knew this piece was going to be in my life for a long time and I wanted to preserve it. Chris was there to greet me when I walked in and ready to become creative with this image. She helped me pick out a mat and frame and was even able to frame the description with the print so I would also have reference to this artist’s history and inspiration.



Chris was also able to give me a sneak peak at what to expect with the finished product just to make sure I liked it.


The next week I was able to pick it up and hang it in my home. It looked even better than I expected and was so pleased with the service I received form North Penn Art! And after Halloween this piece will be the perfect centerpiece for our next home project: The Recording Studio.


For further reading on the Haitian traditions and Marcus Akinlana: