'Craft in America: Borders & Neighbors'
(DVD / PG / 2017 / PBS)
Overview: CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Peabody Award-winning documentary series, is an inspirational journey to the artists, objects, techniques, and origins of American craft. 'BORDERS & NEIGHBORS' explores the relationships and influences that Mexican and American craft artists have on each other and our culture.
DVD Verdict: Up next in this highly respected 'Craft In America' series is 'BORDERS & NEIGHBORS'. Firstly, BORDERS explores the relationships and influences that Mexican and American craft artists have on each other and our cultures, artists and events featured in this engrossing new documentary include: Ofelia Esparza, master altar-maker who teaches the meaning and history of the Day of the Dead celebration; master weaver Isaac Vàsquez of Teotitlàn del Valle, Mexico; and American weaver Jim Bassler and potter Veralee Bassler.
Also getting their time to not only shine, but bring forth fascinating reveals about their own culture are the colorful Guelaguetza parade in Los Angeles; and finally a Chicago artist named Kiff Slemmons, who works with maestro Francisco Toledo at the Art Paper Workshop in Mexico.
Then comes NEIGHBORS, which explores the people, history, and traditions of crafts from the U.S. and Mexico, noting how aesthetics cross over and back again in a living and ongoing cultural exchange.
Featuring artists include glass artist Jaime Guerrero; Mexican ceramic artists Magdalena Pedro Martínez and Carlomagno Pedro Martínez; world-renowned painter, muralist, community arts pioneer, and scholar Judy Baca; California ceramic artist Gerardo Monterrubio.
Also showcasing silver designers William Spratling, Carmen Tapia, Miguel Angel Ortíz Miranda, Cristina Romo, and Eduardo Herrera, this particular episode within this fascinating documentary confirms that art is a pathway for creativity and connections without borders.
Oh, and if you were not aware, 'Craft in America' is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of craft and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. This DVD features subtitles in English (SDH). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.