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Arlington Open Studios: Meet Artist Charo Juan

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.

A hand holds two earrings that are black, circular in shape, with cherry blossom designs on them. Two leaf shaped charms hang from the earrings.
Black and Green Earrings by Pepa and Luna

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.

Two earrings are positioned against a magenta background. Both are circular in shape and are surrounded by a gold hoop. An oblong gold piece hangs at the bottom of each gold hoop. The solid circle in the middle of each gold hoop is a deep purple with an image of clouds and a crane placed on top.
Cranes Largos Art Deco de Frente by Charo Juan, Pepa and Luna

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.

an earring hangs from a woman's ear; it is navy blue in color with bronze coffee bean patterns on it.
Cafe Earrings by Pepa and Luna

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.

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