CRAFT IN AMERICA: IDENTITY Artist Bios
Premieres on PBS on Friday, December 27, 2019 at 10pm (check local listings)
CARA ROMERO said about her five striking billboards, part of a recent “Desert X” exhibition in the Coachella Valley, CA, “I wanted to ground people in what it feels like, what it means that you’re on Indian land in California,” and to simultaneously challenge the viewers’ assumptions of Native Americans and their connection to the land.
Romero has won several awards at major US Indian Markets and the “Visions for the Future“ award from the Native American Rights Fund. Her work is featured at the Robert Nichols Gallery of Santa Fe, NM. In the fall of 2020, a solo show is planned at the San Bernardino County Museum, CA. Romero’s work is in the collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, MO, the Heard Museum, AZ, the Crocker Museum, CA, the Peabody Essex Museum, MA, the Autry Museum of the American West, CA, the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, NY, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, NM, plus many private collections both national and international.
DIEGO ROMERO has studied under distinguished pottery masters Otellie Loloma at the Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, NM, Ralph Bacerra at Otis/Parsons Institute, Los Angeles, CA, and Adrian Saxe in an MFA program at UCLA, CA.
His lively and thought-provoking work has reached across the US and Europe through numerous exhibitions and significant museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Fondation Cartier, FR, the Peabody Essex Museum, MA, the Heard Museum, AZ, the British Museum, UK, the National Museum of Scotland, UK and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA. A retrospective “Diego Romero Vs. The End of Art” will be shown at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, NM from October 2019 until April 2020. His work is represented by Shiprock Santa Fe gallery, NM.
CRISTINA CÓRDOVA lives and works in Penland, NC. She completed her BA at the University of Puerto Rico in 1998 then received her MFA in ceramics from Alfred University, NY in 2002. She has since received numerous grants and awards, including the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Grant, a Virginia Groot Foundation Recognition Grant, several International Association of Art Critics of Puerto Rico awards, and in 2015 the prestigious United States Artist Fellowship award.
In 2012, Córdova was included in the Renwick’s 40th anniversary exhibition “40 Under 40: Craft Futures,” and in 2018, her most recent solo exhibition “Jungla,” was featured at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, NY. Córdova’s work is in the permanent collection of numerous institutions including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC, the Colección Acosta de San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, NC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, PR. Her work is represented by Ferrin Contemporary, MA.
WENDY MARUYAMA is a furniture maker, artist and educator, living and making innovative work for forty years in San Diego, CA. Her early work was steeped in feminism and traditional craft, maturing into narrative sculpture infused with intensely personal social issues. In 2012, “Executive Order 9066” and “The Tag Project,” bodies of work about the forcible relocation of Japanese American citizens during WWII, traveled widely in the US. Most recently, the artist’s “wildLIFE Project” focuses public attention on wildlife poaching, particularly the endangerment of African elephants and rhinoceroses.
Maruyama is one of the first two women to receive a Masters of Fine Arts in Furniture Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY and has been a professor of woodworking and furniture design for over thirty years. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally, with solo and group shows at The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, Savannah College of Art and Design, GA, and the Fuller Museum of Craft, MA, among others. Her work can be found in many national and international museum collections and is represented by the Sparks Gallery, San Diego, CA.
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 in Los Angeles. With twenty-one episodes produced since 2007, CRAFT INAMERICA 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, hundreds 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.
The Craft in America Center is an exhibition and learning space in Los Angeles. We give voice to traditional and contemporary craft through artist talks, workshops, exhibits and concerts. Our reference library contains over one thousand books and videos and is free to the public. We invite you to stop in and to join us for upcoming events and exhibitions – 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
IDENTITY: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE EPISODE exhibition on view at the Craft in America Center, March 28-May 2, 2020