PhillyFolk Artists

Claudia Peregrina

Embroidery, Painting, & Photography

Claudia is a skilled artisan in various forms of traditional embroidery and painting. Originally from Mexico City, her training in art began as a child with lessons from her indigenous P’urhepecha grandmother, from Michoacán, Mexico. During their time together, her grandmother would engage in storytelling while doing embroidery, demonstrating the two to be inextricably linked. Claudia would sit on a small chair listening while being guided on how to make various stitches that resulted in a beautifully embroidered canvas full of colorful flowers. As an adult, she encountered the amazing embroidery and painting style, Tenango, of the indigenous Otomí. It spoke to her, reminding her of the power of indigenous identity and its manifestations in art. She was so touched that she made a specific trip to Tenango de la Noria, the source of this art, to spend several months studying with a native woman, Irma Morales. While there, she learned the nuanced meanings of these ancestral symbolic images, their intrinsic magic, and how to properly reflect these images in textile with a range of colors.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Claudia has worked as an artist in collaboration with Fleisher Art Museum, Philatinos, Providence Center, Seaport Museum, Barnes Foundation, and Mural Arts Philadelphia, particularly their Southeast by Southeast program, where she is a teaching artist, providing cultural art classes on embroidery, painting, and photography. For her work, the Leeway Foundation awarded her with an Art and Change Grant in 2018, and then in 2019, they also honored her with the Leeway Transformation Award. That same year, she was the lead artist for Fleisher Art Memorial’s seventh annual Day of the Dead celebration. She also led a workshop at Fleisher where she taught students how to use coffee filters and dye to make the vibrant traditional paper flowers that adorned the ofrenda (altar). Profile articles on her and her art have been published by various media outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Generocity, Philicam, Univision, Telemundo, and Al Día News.

She is also a graduate of La Universidad de las Bellas Artes (University of Fine Arts) and La Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she received degrees in contemporary art and psychology, respectively, and she is trained in art therapy.