CRAFT IN AMERICA: NEIGHBORS Artists Bios
Premiered on PBS Friday, September 29, 2017*
Jaime Guerrero, glass artist, has devised a unique process of hand shaping and coloring glass and is one of a few contemporary artists to sculpt life-sized human figures in glass. Guerrero’s work embraces ritual and memory, drawing on specific cultural memories and personal experiences from his youth growing up Chicano in Los Angeles, CA. His effort is to elicit discussion and tap into the viewer’s subconscious.
Guerrero has dedicated his life to teaching his craft to young artists in Watts, Boyle Heights and other underserved communities in an effort to encourage diversity in the art glass field. He has a BFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA and has studied with master Italian glass artists Checco Ongaro, Pino Signoretto and American Benjamin Moore, among others. His upcoming one-man show, Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Jaime Guerrero is the first of three exhibitions at the Craft in America Center that are part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA arts initiative. www.guerreroglass.com
Carlomagno Pedro Martínez is a Mexican ceramic artist/artisan from San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, a Zapotec town famous for producing “barro negro” polished black pottery using centuries-old techniques. Carlomagno comes from a long line of potters and as a young child, began molding clay figures, receiving formal artistic training at the Rufino Tamayo Workshop at the age of 18. Carlomagno insists on crafting work completely by hand so each piece is unique. After modeling, the piece is left to dry, then fired in a sealed underground oven, which limits the oxygen and allows the black color to develop.
His work has been featured in many catalogs and has been included in exhibitions in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe. His work has been highly praised by artist Francisco Toledo and in 2014, Mexico awarded Martinez its National Prize for Arts and Sciences in the Popular Arts and Traditions category. Today, he is also the director of MEAPO, the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular de Oaxaca in San Bartolo Coyotepec, a museum dedicated to the handcrafts of the state of Oaxaca.
Magdalena Pedro Martínez is an outstanding “barro negro” ceramist, in the tradition of her family in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. Trained as a medical doctor, she also devotes time to ceramics, specializing in female figures dressed in the traditional costumes of the regions of the state of Oaxaca. She views this as her particular contribution to the broader cause of preserving the culture.
Gerardo Monterrubio, ceramic artist, is influenced by murals, prison tattoos, graffiti art and old etchings. His complex narratives explore the corners of the Mexican immigrant experience and LA’s tough contemporary street culture. Monterrubio is a master storyteller and illustrator who gives new relevance to the ancient tradition of the decorated ceramic vessel.
Gerardo Monterrubio was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. After obtaining a BFA in Ceramic Arts from California State University, Long Beach, he received his MFA from UCLA and currently teaches at Long Beach City College. His work is in the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA and a few select private collections. His upcoming one-man show, Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Gerardo Monterrubio is the second of three exhibitions at the Craft in America Center that are part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA arts initiative. www.gerardomonterrubio.com
Carmen Tapia, designer, preserves and refines her family’s tradition of fabricating jewelry in metals and stones. Carmen has won numerous prizes in significant jewelry design competitions in Mexico and the U.S., her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, events and fairs and she also teaches design at the university level. Carmen is currently a member of ArsFaber, a design group at the cutting edge of design and adornment in Taxco, Mexico. A native Taxquenian, Carmen’s influence has been her father, Ezequiel, a respected sculptor in silver and stone. www.carmentapia.com
Miguel Angel Ortiz Miranda’s father Jorge was a maestro in William Spratling’s legendary silver workshop in Taxco. Taking inspiration from his father, Miguel Angel is a gifted designer and jeweler, winning numerous prestigious national awards for jewelry design and decorative objects. He is the founding member of ArsFaber, a design group at the cutting edge of design and adornment in Taxco. www.facebook.com/arsfaber
Cristina Romo began designing in silver at the age of five. Her grandfather Antonio, trained by the renowned silversmith William Spratling, later departed to establish his own workshop outside of Taxco. Cristina’s mother, Emilia Castillo, was a celebrated silversmith and Cristina followed family tradition. In addition to designing in silver, Cristina has expanded her vision to incorporate porcelain, silver, alabaster and semi-precious stones.
Eduardo Herrera, architect and designer, explored many artistic fields before committing himself to goldsmithing and designing jewelry. His designs are inspired by nature and architectural elements which he translates into silver, gold and tumbaga, an alloy of gold and copper. Today, partnering with Cristina Romo Castillo, they are among Mexico’s foremost young, world-class jewelry artists.
Judy Baca, world-renowned painter and muralist, community arts pioneer, scholar and educator, has taught art in the University of California system for over 28 years, including 15 years at UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies. She founded the first City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974 which evolved into the community arts organization, SPARC, the Social and Public Art Resource Center which continues to create public art. She serves as SPARC artistic Director and has experimented with incorporating new digital technology into her mural production process. www.judybaca.com/artist
CRAFT IN AMERICA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing original handcrafted work through the Peabody Award-winning documentary series on PBS nationwide and the free-to-the-public Craft in America Center located in Los Angeles, which offers artist talks, exhibitions, workshops and a library. With seventeen episodes produced since 2007, CRAFT IN AMERICA takes viewers on a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft. Each episode contains stories from diverse regions and cultures, blending history with living practice and exploring issues of identity, ritual, philosophy and creative expression. Our websites craftinamerica.org and pbs.org/craftinamerica provide all episodes, hours of online videos and interactive learning materials, as well as object exhibitions, artist information, and the Random House book Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects and other Craft in America publications.
For more about Craft in America:
*check local listings
Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Claffey, Denise Kang, Mark Markley, Carol Sauvion
Please contact for art and interviews: (310) 659-9022
Carol Sauvion, Executive Producer: carolsauvion@
Beverly Feldman, Press: beverly@
Additional images of all the artists’ work are available on Dropbox: