PhillyFolk Artists

César Viveros

Muralist, Cartoneria (Papier-mâché), & Dancer

César Viveros Herrera has spent over 15 years creating public art in the United States and his native Mexico, and has collaborated with Mural Arts in Philadelphia since 1997. Well known as a muralist, César also performs Aztec dances and ceremonies, and creates miniature altars, sculptures, fresco paintings, mosaics and feather work. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts recognized him as a master artist in cartoneria, a craft that employs paper (from newspapers, cardboard, etc.) and engrudo (a glue made of cornstarch) to create elaborate and intricate sculptures called alebrijes which are well known brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantasy creatures. This is a skill he learned from his late wife, Ana Guissel Palma, who was known as “the papel maché queen” in Philadelphia.

César has led art workshops in the Philadelphia area since 2000, and he has assisted or led collaborative undertakings to make monumental works. His public work has been inspired by the communities he has served throughout the years and to whom he has become an extended voice. His work documenting these communities visually articulates individual stories, thereby introducing them to a broader audience. His work has been featured in such places as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fleisher Art Memorial, and the Kimmel Center.