FEATURED IN NEIGHBORS EPISODE
NEIGHBORS explores connections between Mexico and the United States through craft. Featuring ceramic artist Gerardo Monterrubio; ceramic artists Carlomagno Pedro Martínez and Magdalena Pedro Martínez; glass artist Jaime Guerrero; silver designers William Spratling, Miguel Angel Ortiz Miranda, Carmen Tapia, Cristina Romo, and Eduardo Herrera; muralist Judy Baca and Social and Public Art Resource Center.
Gerardo Monterrubio, ceramic artist, is influenced by murals, prison drawings, 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.
CARLOMAGNO PEDRO MARTÍNEZ
Carlomagno Pedro Martínez is a Mexican ceramic artist 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.
MAGDALENA PEDRO MARTÍNEZ
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.
Glass artist Jaime Guerrero 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.
MIGUEL ANGEL ORTIZ MIRANDA
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.
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.
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.