Marta Turok

(Mexico D.F.)

Marta is a Mexican applied anthropologist specializing in Mexican folk art and socio-economic development. She heads CENIDEART, the Research Center at the Escuela de Artesanías (School of Crafts) of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) and is curator for the Ruth D. Lechuga collection of Folk Art that was donated to the Franz Mayer Museum. She has worked in Mexican federal government agencies focusing on public policy, such as the National Indigenous Institute, the Popular Cultures office (which she headed) and FONART (where she was sub-director for training and social programs). She founded AMACUP, a non-profit NGO that developed products based on traditional techniques with contemporary styles. She has also curated exhibits for the Franz Mayer Museum such as Lacas Mexicanas, De Juguetes y mas, El sarape de Saltillo: enigma y huella, Cerámica de Mata Ortiz: Renacer de una Tradicion, Living Traditions: Mexican Popular Arts for SUNY Albany and recently the Museum of the Sarape and Mexican costumes in Saltillo.

Among her publications are Como Acercarse a la Artesanía (How to Approach Crafts), El Caracol Purpura: Una Tradición Milenaria en Oaxaca (The Purpura Snail: A Millenary Tradition in Oaxaca), El Ropero de Frida (Frida’s Wardrobe), as well as numerous articles in Artes de México. She wrote an essay on Metepec for Ceramic Trees of Life coordinated by Lenore Hoag Mulryan. She has been a pioneer in the areas of symbolism in textiles (in Chiapas), marketing training for craftspeople, artisans and the environment, and has been a juror for 40 years in various Mexican crafts contests. Marta was an invaluable juror in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition, assisting the international panel of jurors with her extensive experience. Los Amigos del Arte Popular presented her the Van Deren Coke lifetime achievement award in 2005. Marta’s work in Oaxaca has included lobbying for the preservation of the purple snail and the related indigenous culture, for which she shared the Música de la Tierra award in 2006; in the area of design and marketing with Huave, Mixtec, Amusgo and Mazatec coops, also sharing the 1st place award with Amacup for Marketable crafts in the V National contest in 1997, and she received a Special Award in the Unesco DeFacto Salon in 2002. Marta, an experienced juror, played an extremely important role as a juror in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition.

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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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