Juliana Martinez Art
murals, mosaics, painting, jewelry
Juliana Martinez, a native of Miramar, Santurce, Puerto Rico, has been making mosaics since she was 6 years old. She is primarily a mosaic and water feature artist, specializing in Public Art, but also a veteran chalk artist, painter, and assemblage artist. She holds an EDD in Education, and in addition to being an artist, has been teaching and mentoring for 28 years. She was an art teacher at the prestigious Notre Dame Academy Girls’ High School in West Los Angeles, taught during the Gulf War on a Native American Reservation in New Mexico, been lead teacher in a one-room school in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and has mentored at-risk teenagers at street painting workshops and in the LAPD’s Jeopardy Program over the last 20 years. Juliana was chosen as a resident artist of Los Angeles for 2014-2015 by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and was chosen to receive a “heart” on the “Walk of Hearts” in Canoga Park in recognition for her work with at-risk, disadvantaged, and developmentally disabled children.
She has worked and taught in California, Oregon, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, the last as part of a team the City of Los Angeles commissioned as part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
She has participated in over 100 gallery shows and exhibitions, has been a resident artist in multiple locations, and has curated many art exhibitions.
For 3 years she had been part of the recently defunct Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, where she did large public art pieces in Chinatown, Central Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley. In addition, she has done public art projects for the Department of Public Works, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Casden Properties, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and most recently, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, as well as private commissions.
The thing that separates her from many other mosaic artists is that she makes many of her own tiles, and makes them in the shapes needed for the current piece she is creating. She often goes into schools near her projects and does workshops that allow the students to make tiles that are used in the murals. This medium is very flexible, and allows you to adjust the project to the student’s age. The older the student, the more sophisticated the level of project can be, often with stunning results.
She has received commendations from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villarigosa, The California State Senate, and City Councilman Dennis P. Zine, as well as the International Sister Cities Organization, for her workshops with underprivileged children in Taxco de Alarcon, Guererro, Mexico. Juliana has been Director of Public Art for the San Fernando Valley Arts Council, where she has implemented the already successful “6X6 Affordable Mural Program”, which brings affordable public art to schools while providing scholarships to underserved art students in the San Fernando Valley.
Juliana has been very active in the Guitartown program in conjunction with the Sunset Strip Business Association and Gibson Guitars. Her third 10’ guitar just sold at the prestigious Bonham and Butterfield Auction House. She earns no money for this work. The money from the auction of these guitars goes to arts programs. Her last effort holds the record for highest price ever paid for one of these pieces. Currently, Juliana is under contract to the Los Angeles County Art Commission to design and create 2 murals for Community Health Centers to be constructed on High School Campuses in the Los Angeles Area. There is also another mural of the San Fernando Mission coming at an additional Health Center in the Valley.
Lastly, there is what she is calling the “Crown Jewel of her Career and Life”, and that is to create the National Anti-War Memorial. There are memorials to every war, struggle, and conflict, but there is none to recognize the idea that Americans will stand up for what they believe in, and when the belief is strong enough, will continue until they are heard. It celebrates everything from the Boston Tea Party to the recent Gay Rights Struggle. Her dream is for the people to fund it, with no corporate or governmental sponsorship, so that it will have no political slant to it, just historical facts. Juliana has spent the majority of her adult life exploring the arts and testing the boundaries of her medium. She is always looking for a way to stretch things to make it possible to see things in a new way and defy the traditional way to make her own path.Scroll