• Neil Allen

My Nativity Story: John Donnely

The following are photos and a video of an attempt at a Nacimiento scene that I have put up yearly in the garage.

I reside in Southern California. About 20 years ago I started picking up the occasional piece of Mexican folk art.

10 years ago my interest in this art increased and I started focusing more on Mexican Nativity pieces.

I’m always been amazed by the endless creativity, beauty and attention to detail. My heritage is Irish and while I have a few Irish nativities, it seems that it is the Mexican nativities that have come to fill up my house.

While viewing a Huell Howser California’s Gold episode a number of years ago on Nacimiento scenes in the Los Angeles area, I decided that I needed to have one of those in my own house.

The first attempt about 10 years ago was placed on the kitchen table with a few clay pieces along with some bark and house plants. Over the following years it came to inhabit the living and room and then more recently got moved out to the garage because it kept growing.

I supposed its not the typical nacimiento as it does not focus uniquely on Biblical stories but incorporates lots of Mexican folk art. That being said, there is a Noah’s Ark present. I also decided to include Hell a couple of years ago and have added an area for Heaven this year. The pandemic this year, while immensely destructive, has still managed to bring about some covid inspired art and I included a couple of these pieces as well.

I start setting up at the beginning of October. It takes about 6 weeks to complete and then about 4 weeks to dismantle, aiming for as little breakage of pieces as possible but, well, it still happens a bit.

Nacimientos – California’s Gold (111) – Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University

Now come inside John's version. Nativity Nacimiento 2020 - YouTube

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