Join LA-based artist Melvino Garretti for a conversation with Art + Practice’s Public Programs and Exhibitions Manager Joshua Oduga on June 15, 2021. Oduga and Garretti will explore specific works from the artist practice, discuss the artist’s techniques and inspirations, as well as engage in a conversation around the elements of collaboration, education and community that have informed Garetti’s work. This program is organized as part of A+P’s Spring 2021 Program Series.
Garretti is a sculptor working in LA since the mid-1960’s. Garretti was among the first residents of the Studio Watts workshop, a pioneering non-profit serving artists in South LA. Garretti continues to make new work in LA and exhibit work frequently, including his recent solo exhibition Vino’s Carnival of Ceramic Curiosities, or the Circuitous Path to Calamity (2021) at Parker Gallery.
“Today I don’t think about being an artist. I look at myself as an urban and suburban anthropologist, looking at other artists, products, and industries. My practice involves me being an astute observer-creating and attaching feelings and emotions to my narrative about objects; with social and cultural views of my own; fictional and non-fictional, defining differences or new perceptions and perspectives with objects in everyday living.”
Known for his ecstatic forms, Melvino Garretti (b. 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) was among the first residents of the Studio Watts workshop in the mid-1960s, a pioneering non-profit serving artists in South-Central Los Angeles, fueling a rich period of creativity and experimentation within the Black community. Garretti has been working predominantly in ceramics since, infusing the medium with the improvisational strategies of free jazz.
In 1969, Garretti participated inCeremony of Us, a groundbreaking collaboration facilitated by celebrated choreographer Anna Halprin between her San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop and the Studio Watts Workshop. In 1978, he graduated with an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work was the subject of a 1984 solo exhibition at the pioneering Brockman Gallery (1967–1990), a historic Los Angeles platform dedicated to showing artists of color.