In the summer of 2013, I was fortunate to travel to Santa Fe for a week long workshop with the Crizmac group, which focused upon Pueblo Pottery and Culture. We spent every day learning about various forms of art made in the pueblos, from weaving to pottery. Each day also help opportunities to create art. The group was made up of people in education, and we had a wealth of speakers and artists with which to work. The pottery above is an example of Pueblo Pottery and on our tour we will be delving deeper into the designs, motifs and symbolism of the rich pottery tradition.
Cultural awareness was an important part of the workshop, as was talking with Native American people who live and work in the area. One such person is Dawning Pollen, an artist and teacher from Taos Pueblo. She demonstrated how to work with micaceous clay, common to the area, and had several examples of pieces made form the golden sparkly clay. We all tried our hand at creating with it as well, and set aside our pieces to dry as we listened to Pollen tell stories of her childhood and life. Later in the week, after Pollen had dried our work, we visited her family home in Taos and participated in an outdoor traditional wood firing. Her family was there to help, and we met her mother Bernadette, a former dancer and model for RC Gorman. Her father Robert Shorty is a wonderful artist, and he was gracious enough to show us his sculptures, and works in progress. We also visited the Taos Pueblo, and were able to talk with many of the artists creating in their studios. On my trips, featuring this kind of personal connection to artists is very important.
We also visited the Tower Gallery, home of the sculpture of Roxanne Swentzell. Roxanne creates the most amazing figures, both sensitive and narrative. Her depiction of the creation story with figures is on view at the Poeh Center, next to the gallery, and is a must-see when in the area.
These are but a few of the artists we will encounter on the southwestern trips…and I hope I can introduce you to their beautiful art.