ACT is thrilled to announce two new visiting faculty members in fall 2016, both practicing artists and designers based in Mexico City. Introducing Carla Fernández and Pedro Reyes!
Internationally recognized fashion designer and social entrepreneur Carla Fernandez was fascinated by the geometric themes and rich material found in traditional Mexican culture. Carla saw how difficult it is for Mexican communities to maintain their cultural heritages in this increasingly consumer world, and decided to bring a new meaning to luxury fashion by using these communities’ centuries-old techniques to develop avant-garde, contemporary clothing. Each of her projects utilize ancient techniques like hand looming, dyeing in mud, or wool felting using artists’ feet to preserve and document the rich textile heritage of Mexico. Her comprehensive approach to maintaining indigenous heritage helps young artists and craftspeople continue their centuries old family traditions and creates a fair partnership for them and their contributors. In 2013, Carla was on of 11 worldwide recipients of the Prince Claus Award from Amsterdam. The Award recognizes artists whose cultural actions have had a positive impact on the development of their societies. Her brand has been featured in publications such as Elle, Vogue, I-D, New York Times Magazine and many more!
Pedro Reyes is a widely celebrated multi-platform artist, activist, and educator. Pedro uses all aspects of visual art and education to address political and social issues. His main focus is to use the arts to reduce gun and drug trafficking and all across Mexico. In 2008 Pedro commenced Palas por Pistolas, a project that collected over 1,500 guns from donors and Mexico and melted them down into shovels. With those shovels, Pedro and his studio planted the same number of trees. The program’s success garnered attention from the Mexican Army, who donated 6,700 weapons. In 2012, Pedro started Disarm, which converted the donated military weapons into musical instruments. Disarm is now a mobile workshop in which adolescence use these musical instruments to write and perform songs of peace.
Together they will be teaching the class “The Reverse Engineering of Warfare: an opera for the end of times“