Known for his ecstatic forms, Melvino Garretti (b. 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) was among the first residents of the Studio Watts workshop in the mid-1960s, a pioneering non-profit serving artists in South-Central Los Angeles, fueling a rich period of creativity and experimentation within the Black community. Garretti has been working predominantly in ceramics since, infusing the medium with the improvisational strategies of free jazz.
In 1969, Garretti participated in Ceremony of Us, a groundbreaking collaboration facilitated by celebrated choreographer Anna Halprin between her San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop and the Studio Watts Workshop. In 1978, he graduated with an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work was the subject of a 1984 solo exhibition at the pioneering Brockman Gallery (1967–1990), a historic Los Angeles platform dedicated to showing artists of color.