Updated: Nov 1, 2022
A recent move to Arlington inspired Charo Juan to exhibit at the ACA’s 24th annual Open Studios event. Charo Juan’s work combines delicate Japanese paper and art deco shapes into beautiful handcrafted earrings. She first started making earrings as a way to “keep her hands busy” when her husband and son would go off to play ice hockey in the evenings. Juan laughed as she said, “it was fun to make them, and I started to make more and more, and I thought, why don’t I give it a try and try to make some money out of it?” Thus, her creative business Pepa and Luna was born.
Juan found that making her earrings helped her mental health. “I tend to be anxious,” she said in our interview. “It keeps my mind at ease. Sometimes you need something creative to do with your hands. It is very important to me.”
When asked what inspired her work, Juan had a definite answer. “When I started to do earrings…I liked very much Japanese papers…I discovered the texture, how they were made, and I liked all that about it.” The material, to Juan, “is beautiful to touch.” From koi fish to swooping cranes to vivid cherry blossom blooms, it is evident that Japanese art holds a special place in her heart.
As someone who moved to the United States from Spain, Juan adores and misses the art and architecture she grew up with. “Although it is not related to what I do… art and culture is inspiring, everything is related. You might see some inscription, some beautiful scene that can inspire you.” After living in Barcelona for many years, Juan feels that her earrings are inspired by the art deco architecture that surrounded her in Spain.
Once she moved to Arlington, she found newer inspiration in her art space that is surrounded by windows. She puts on her music and looks outside to the nature that splays out beyond her home. When it comes to the Open Studios, Juan is looking forward to the space being filled “with life, with joy, with color.”
Visit Charo and Pepa and Luna at Arlington Open Studios on November 12, 2022. She can be found at the Arlington Center for the Arts at 20 Academy St on the fourth floor.