Images in Guardianes de las artes /Guardians of the Arts celebrate Guatemalan arts and crafts traditions as well as the artisans themselves. The book contains reproductions of 43 wood and linoleum relief prints. There are drawings on 25 on the caption pages. Each print has an extended bilingual caption in Spanish and English which describes techniques, the various uses of the crafts along with their history and place in today’s world. Other books about Guatemalan arts and crafts often use photography. In Guardianes de las artes /Guardians of the Arts, the images are created using relief print techniques to depict the artists and artisans of each craft.
In addition to the graphic illustrations, background text includes a preface, introduction, and acknowledgements. In a “Supplementary Notes” section at the back of the book, five short essays give more context to the arts and crafts shown in the prints. They are titled:
“Maya Arts and Change,”
“Weaving and “La Violence,”
“Ecology and Arts and Crafts,”
“To Treasure and Nurture: Guatemala’s Artists and Artisans.”
The final essay includes a call to appreciate “…the Guatemalan spirit of creative ingenuity and tradition which lives on in their craft making…”
Guardians of the Arts is an art book, with a hard cover, printed on substantial natural beige colored stock. The book is 11 1/4″ (height) by 8 3/4″ (width). Reproductions measure 8 3/4″ by 6 3/4″ with some slight variations in size. This allows each print reproduction to be appreciated.
Marilyn Anderson is an artist, photographer and author. Originally from Portland Oregon, she studied at Marylhurst College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Marilyn then spent time in Mexico and Guatemala, subsequently receiving her BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop/SUNY Buffalo. For 16 years she worked as a visual arts mentor at SUNY Empire State College, in Rochester, NY.
Since the 1970s, Marilyn has produced publications, including Backstrap Weaving (co-authored with Barbara Tabor), Guatemalan Textiles Today and Granddaughters of Corn(co-authored with Jonathan Garlock). Her most recent publication (2016) is Guardianes de las artes /Guardians of the Arts.