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CRAFT IN AMERICA: Neighbors

Airs Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Glass artist Jaime Guerrero in the studio. Travel to and from the U.S. and Me...

Credit: Courtesy of Keay Edwards

Above: Glass artist Jaime Guerrero in the studio. Travel to and from the U.S. and Mexico to explore the people, history, traditions and crafts, noting how aesthetics cross from one country to another and back again in an organic and ongoing cultural exchange.

Examine original hand-crafted works created by contemporary artists.

Explore America's creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade.

The Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series, CRAFT IN AMERICA, promotes and advances original handcrafted work and inspires people of all ages to pursue their own creativity.

Explore the relationships and influences Mexican and American craft artists have on each other and on our cultures.

In this episode, travel to and from the U.S. and Mexico to explore the people, history, traditions and crafts, noting how aesthetics cross from one country to another and back again in an organic and ongoing cultural exchange.

CRAFT IN AMERICA: Neighbors: Preview

"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 SPARC.

ARTIST BIOS:

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Keay Edwards

Glass artist Jaime Guerrero in the studio.

Guerrero’s work embraces ritual and memory, drawing on specific cultural memories and personal experiences from his youth growing up Chicano in Los Angeles. His effort is to elicit discussion and tap into the viewer’s subconscious.

Jaime Guerrero on his life size glass children and piñata

Glass artist Jaime Guerrero on his life size glass refugee children and piñata.

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, 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.

Jaime Guerrero on his Mesoamerican series

Glass artist Jaime Guerrero on his Mesoamerican series.

Carlomagno Pedro Martínez is a Mexican ceramic artist/artisan from Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, a Zapotec town famous for producing San “barro negro” polished black pottery using centuries-old techniques.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Claffey

Ceramic artist Carlomagno Pedro Martínez in his studio.

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.

Carlomagno Pedro Martínez sculpts and assembles a figure

Ceramic artist Carlomagno Pedro Martínez sculpts and assembles a skeleton figure holding a chicken out of barro negro (black clay).

Magdalena Pedro Martínez is an outstanding “barro negro” ceramist, in the tradition of her family.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Mark Markley

Ceramic artist Magdalena Pedro Martínez in her studio.

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.

Gerardo Monterrubio on "Serrano Street"

Ceramic artist Gerardo Monterrubio on his piece, "Serrano Street."

Monterrubio is a master storyteller and illustrator who gives new relevance to the ancient tradition of the decorated ceramic vessel. 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, California 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.

Gerardo Monterrubio on his work inspired by his grandparents

Ceramic artist Gerardo Monterrubio on his work inspired by his grandparents, "El Corrido de Don Gustavo Martinez" and "La Ranchera de Doña Marcelina de Martinez."

Carmen Tapia, designer, preserves and refines her family’s tradition of fabricating jewelry in metals and stones.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Denise Kang

Carmen Tapia carves and shapes the wax pieces for molding.

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.

Taxco silver segment

From CRAFT IN AMERICA "Neighbors" episode: Taxco silver segment featuring William Spratling, Miguel Angel Ortiz Miranda, Carmen Tapia, Cristina Romo, and Eduardo Herrera.

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Denise Kang

Silversmith Miguel Angel Ortiz Miranda in his studio.

Cristina Romo Castillo 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Denise Kang

Cristina Romo with her silver/ceramic pieces.

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Denise Kang

Eduardo Herrera with his furniture.

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Denise Kang

Artist and muralist Judy Baca in her studio.

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.

Judy Baca on "La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: California 1996

Artist and muralist Judy Baca on "La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: California 1996," her mural located on the University of Southern California campus about the history of Latinos in Los Angeles.

Judy Baca on her murals at RFK Community Schools

Artist and muralist Judy Baca on the Robert F. Kennedy Community School murals titled "Tiny Ripples of Hope" and "Seeing through Others Eyes." Bonus video from "Neighbors" episode.

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This episode and clips from this series are available for streaming on demand.

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