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KCET: Indigenous Mexicans Unpack Their Migratory Experience Using Piñatas

 Artisan Guadalupe Solorio during the Collaborative Piñata workshop. 2015 | David Figueroa, courtesy of Dignicraft
Artbound on Otis College's PST: LA/LA Exhibition
Jean Trinh

 

"If you stroll through Downtown Los Angeles’ Piñata District, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of prismatic, papier-mâchéd structures that run the gamut of every Disney princess imaginable to fire-breathing dragons.

It goes without saying that piñatas have a short lifespan: Once party revelers break them open, they’re tossed into the trash without a second thought. But one Tijuana-based artist collective composed of ceramic artists and media producers, Dignicraft, gives depth to these seemingly ephemeral objects by spotlighting the indigenous Purépecha artisans who make these piñatas — artisans normally invisible to the consumers who purchase their work. Through a series of videos, photos and workshops, Dignicraft also illustrates how piñata-making is an underrated craft that deserves much more attention.

Dignicraft’s ongoing project, “The Collaborative Piñata,” is part of the Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas installation, which is on view at Otis College of Art and Design through December 10. This exhibit, which is curated by Bill Kelley, Jr. and is connected to the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, takes a look at social art practices that meld activism, education, community organizing and art in L.A. and Latin America."

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Image: Artisan Guadalupe Solorio during the Collaborative Piñata workshop. 2015 | David Figueroa, courtesy of Dignicraft