Identity: 4 Voices

Exhibition catalog for Identity: 4 Voices, on view at the Craft in America Center from March 14 - July 3, 2020.

Exhibition catalog for Identity: 4 Voices, on view at the Craft in America Center from March 14 - July 3, 2020.


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3/14 – 7/3/2020



Craft in America Center is pleased to present an exhibition

by four artists who explore issues of gender, race, culture,

and place, offering true expressions of their experience in this

world. Cristina Córdova, Wendy Maruyama, Cara Romero,

and Diego Romero draw upon their heritages and identities

as makers to translate their experiences into fine art. All four

artists were featured in Craft in America’s IDENTITY episode of

our PBS Documentary Series.




Wendy Maruyama, furniture maker and educator, delves

into matters of ethnicity, gender, and world issues in her

studio in San Diego, CA. Born an American of Japanese

heritage, Maruyama satisfied her artistic passions by

becoming an important furniture maker in a field

dominated by men and in the process, overcame

challenges related to her deafness and disability.

Maruyama is able to translate her complex identity

into beautiful yet challenging work.

Wendy Maruyama

Sonje, 2014

Polychromed wood, string

Wendy Maruyama

The Bell Shrine, 2015

Claro walnut, holly, ink, bronze


“After completing the E.O. 9066 and

Wildlife projects, very heavy topics that

required a good deal of research, I was

ready to make something simple, pretty

and light. 2019 was the Bauhaus’

centennial celebration. I chose to look at

Anni Albers’ work because of her great

colors and patterns she incorporated

into her textile works. She is also one of

few women who are well known from

the patriarchal and chauvinistic Bauhaus

group.” -Maruyama

Left to right:

Wendy Maruyama

Tickled Pink, 2019

Polychromed wood

Wendy Maruyama

Autumnal Equinox, 2019

Polychromed wood

Wendy Maruyama

Yellow Window, 2019

Polychromed wood


Wendy Maruyama

Untitled, 2019

Polychromed wood

“I adapted the technique that I use for

making tambour doors (also known as

‘roll-top’ doors, made up of uniform sticks

glued onto canvas to create a flexible

surface). I wanted to somehow replicate

a weaving grid using strips of wood and

painting each section and varying the

depths of these strips to give some texture

and pattern to the surface.” -Maruyama

“I was interested in

experimenting with new colors

with these pieces. The trio of

‘Untitled’s were soft candy

colors I

usually never use but wanted to

try. They sort of reminded me of

three seasons: Winter, Spring

and Fall. I guess I skipped over

Summer. The large brown one

was inspired by my trip to

Africa and I wanted to try a

different palette.” -Maruyama

Wendy Maruyama

Homage to Anni II, 2019

Polychromed wood




Cristina Córdova is a sculptor who is originally from

Puerto Rico and now lives and works at Penland,

NC. Her beautiful figurative clay work is rooted in

renaissance sculptural traditions and ceramic history.

Each piece represents our shared humanity while

confronting contemporary issues of gender, race, beauty,

and power.

Cristina Córdova

Cabeza V, 2018

Ceramic, framed photography




Cara Romero, a contemporary photographer and

member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the

Chemehuevi Reservation (a branch of the Southern

Paiute) of the Mojave Desert, CA is a passionate

spokesperson for indigenous cultural and environmental

issues. Her complex and nuanced images combine

traditional iconography with a contemporary

perspective, bringing past, present, and future into

consideration. The artist orchestrates a balancing act in

her photography by rewriting stories of Indian identity,

battling cultural misappropriation, and confronting

stereotypes–particularly of Native women–all the while

preserving tradition and maintaining cultural sensitivity.

Cara Romero

17 Mile Road, 2019

Archival pigment prints,

Legacy platine

Cara Romero

Evolvers, 2019

Archival pigment prints,

Legacy platine

Cara Romero

Spirits of Siwavaats, 2019

Archival pigment prints,

Legacy platine




Diego Romero is a potter living and working in Santa Fe,

NM and a member of the Cochiti Pueblo tribe. He makes

art that transcends his Native American heritage by

combining traditional materials, techniques, and forms of

ancient Mimbres, Anasazi, and Greek pottery with comic

book inspired imagery to talk about contemporary issues.

Romero is a self-proclaimed “chronologist on the absurdity

of human nature,” whose comic narratives often venture

into taboo areas of politics, environment, racism,

alcoholism, love, life, and loss.

Diego Romero

Coyote, 2019

Glazed earthenware

Diego Romero

Cochiti Maiden, 2019

Glazed earthenware

Diego Romero

Untitled, C. 2018

Glazed earthenware

Collection of Charles Rozanski

Diego Romero

Chongo Brothers in Broke Car

Landscape, c. 2018

Glazed earthenware

Collection of Charles Rozanski


This exhibiton took place at the

Craft in America Center in Los Angeles

from March 14 - July 3, 2020.

Support was provided by the Los

Angeles County Arts Commission and

the National Endowment for the Arts.

CRAFT IN AMERICA is a Los Angeles-based non-profit

with a mission to promote and advance original craft

through educational programs and resources in all

media–accessible to all via a PBS documentary series

that has aired since 2007, an archival website, as well

as in-person at the Craft in America Center (the Center)

in Los Angeles. We are dedicated to the exploration

and celebration of craft, the work of the hand, and

craft’s impact on our nation’s evolving cultural heritage

and economy.

The Center is a micro-museum, library, and

programmatic space where visitors engage directly with

art, artists, and ideas. We give voice to traditional and

contemporary craft, ranging from functional to purely

conceptual, through personal engagement. We

organize exhibitions, artist talks, scholarly lectures, a

reading group, book signings, hands-on workshops,

demonstrations, student field trips, concerts, and


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