Artist Bios and Info
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Aguilar, Rafaelita

Rafaelita Aguilar, Santo Domingo Pueblo, 1936 - .  Rafaelita continues the ancient tradition of hand-coiled black on black pottery.  She learn the art of working with clay from her mother, Miguelita Aguilar.

Rafaelita specializes in exceptionally large pottery vessels, which are stone-polished and pit-fired.

Antonio, Mildred

Mildred Antonio, Eagle Clan, Acoma Pueblo, 1937 - .  Mildred began her pottery career at the age of 15, learning the craft from her aunt, Marie Torivio.  She specializes in hand-coiled pottery of native Acoma clay, incorporating fineline designs, swirl patterns and traditional motifs.  Mildred collects natural pigments to create her own colors.  She signs her pottery as "M. Antonio, Acoma".

Aragon, Arnold

Arnold Aragon, Crow/Laguna Pueblo, 1953 - .  Born on the Crow Agency in Montana.  Trained at the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the University of Nevada (Reno, Nevada).

Having spent his youth in both the Crow homelands and at the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico, Arnold is able to incorporate elements of both the nomadic Plains cultures and intensely spiritual Pueblo cultures into his distinctive sculpture.  While many of his pieces can be intricately realistic, others are abstractly flowing forms that are merely suggestive of the spirit of the animal he is trying to capture.

Begay, Westly

Westly Begay, Navajo, 1965 - .  Westly married into the Acoma Pueblo and learned that Pueblo's tradition of working with clay from his late wife, Marie Francis Vallo.  His pottery is distinguished by its thinness as well as by its superlative paintwork, in which he was inspired by the fine Creek/Seminole artist Jerome Tiger.  He signs his pottery as "Westly B." and ordinarily titles each piece he creates.

Westly took First Prize at the 1999 New Mexico State Fair.

Bourdon, Birdell

Birdell Bourdon (“Vine Flower”), Santa Clara Pueblo, 1957 - . Birdell continues a long tradition of hand coiling pottery.  She was taught the traditional methods by her mother, Marie Sisneros Askan, and has been making pottery since the of age 10.  Birdell specializes in highly polished blackware in a wide variety of forms. She signs her pottery as "Birdell, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico".

Cain, Mary

Mary Cain ("Blue Rain"), Santa Clara Pueblo. 1915 - .   Mary has been handcrafting Santa Clara pottery since 1930.  Her mother, Cristina Naranjo, and grandmother, Sarafina Tafoya, both inspired and encouraged her to continue the long family tradition of working with clay.  Mary's sisters Teresita Naranjo, Mary Eckleberry, and Mida Tafoya also became potters of great renown.  Mary specializes in traditional handcoiled and handpolished black-on-black and redware pottery, often incorporating carved water serpents or bear paws.  Her pottery is eminently collectible.

Mary's awards are numerous and include multiple First, Second, and Third Prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as First Prizes at both the Eight Northern Pueblos Show and the New Mexico State Fair.

Cata, Myrtle

Myrtle Cata, Turquoise Clan, San Felipe and San Juan Pueblos, 1953 - .   Myrtle has been handcrafting pottery since 1979.  She specializes in contemporary handcoiled pottery in micaceous San Juan clay.  Myrtle's style is the essence of simplicity and elegance - thinwalled and always graceful.  She signs her pottery as "Myrtle Cata, San Juan Pueblo".

Myrtle's awards include prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial, and New Mexico State Fair.

Cata, Sophie

Sophie Cata (“Eagle Feather Basket”), Santa Clara Pueblo, 1957 - .  Sophie learned the family tradition of pottery making from her mother, Frances Naranjo Salazar, and maternal grandmother, Flora Naranjo.  She was making pottery as early as the age of 6.  Sophie gathers all her clay and temper within the boundaries of the Pueblo.  Her most common designs include bear paws, feathers, water serpents, and kiva steps.  Sophie signs her pottery as "Sophie Cata, Santa Clara Pueblo".

Cerno, Barbara and Joseph

Barbara (Eagle/Antelope Clans, 1951 - ) and Joseph (Roadrunner Clan, 1947 - ) Cerno, Acoma Pueblo.   Joseph and Barbara, a husband-and-wife team, are everywhere recognized as contemporary artists of the first rank.  They are among some of the finest potters of this or any era.

Barbara, of half Hopi Pueblo heritage, was introduced to the craft by her Acoma mother-in-law, Santana.  She refined her art by consulting with her Hopi relatives and friends and adapting some of their methods to the fine Acoma clays.  Joseph was also taught the craft by his mother, from whom he learned both the material and spiritual aspects of the Acoma tradition of pottery making.

Barbara and Joseph's patient and painstaking pottery-making process can take as much as a year to complete.  They are at the same time both deeply traditional and highly innovative in their approach to their art.  They studied the ancient pottery shards found at the Pueblo in order to capture the traditional styles of their ancestors, and have dedicated many hours of experimentation in perfecting their contemporary skill and artistry.

Barbara and Joseph are justifiably acclaimed for their perfectly formed, precisely and brilliantly painted parade pots.  They sign their pottery as "Acoma, NM, Barbara & Joseph Cerno", followed by the year the pot was made.

Their awards are literally too numerous to list, and include multiple First, Second, and Third Prizes at the santa Fe Indian Market..

Chavarria, Denise

Denise Chavarria, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1959 - .  Her famed mother, Stella Chavarria,  taught Denise the fundamentals of working with clay and encouraged her to continue the family tradition and to add to their legacy.  Denise specializes in traditional black-on-black Santa Clara pottery and is a master of fine stone-polishing.  She signs her pottery as "Denise Chavarria, Santa Clara Pueblo".

Denise's awards include First, Second, and Third Prizes in pottery in various years at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Chavarria, Millie

Mildred (“Millie”) Chavarria, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1946 - .  Millie learned the potter's art from her mother, Pablita Chavarria (1914-1979).  She specializes in handcoiled Santa Clara black-on-black pottery, and gathers her own clay from within Santa Clara Pueblo.  Millie often carves earth symbols or water serpents on her pottery.  She signs her pottery as "Millie Chavarria, Santa Clara, NM.".

Cox, Alvin

Alvin L. Cox (Redwolf), Assiniboine, 1944-1999.  Born on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana.  Trained at the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas).

Both a painter and a sculptor, Al's work is characterized by powerful masculine images of the Assiniboine culture and by strong depictions of elements of the natural world.  Since he served as his own model in much of his work, self-portraiture is a hallmark of many of his pieces.

Dimmick, Sam

Samuel G. Dimmick, Inupiat, 1960 - .  Born in Nome, Alaska.  Sam's people, from the northwestern arctic region of Alaska, continue to rely on traditional subsistence hunting and fishing.  This intimate proximity to the natural world is reflected in all of Sam's sculpture.  His depictions of the bowhead whale, seal, polar bear, and walrus of his native land are exceptionally realistic.  It is barely possible to view one of these pieces without being able to sense the presence of the spirit of the animal.  Sam creates equally striking sculpture of other native Alaskan animals, including the eagle, brown bear, and salmon.

Garcia, Tina

Tina Garcia, Santa Clara (Maternal) and San Juan (Paternal) Pueblo, 1957 - .  Tina was inspired to learn the traditional potter's art by her mother Lydia Garcia, aunt Angela Baca , and grandmother Severa Tafoya, all highly skilled artists.  She also attended the School of American Research to engage in studies of older Pueblo pottery.

Tina specializes in handmade Santa Clara pottery, both blackware and redware.  She gathers, cleans, and mixes her own clay, and shapes, coils, and fires her pottery outdoors in the traditional way.  Her pottery shows her remarkable gift for form and her polish has always been of exceptional quality.  Today, Tina continues to produce only the finest quality pottery - her work is an art to behold.   Tina has worked on many prestigious pottery demonstrations and has assisted in producing a video for the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe about the continuation of traditional pottery making into modern times.

Tina has won awards too many to list, including various First and Second Prizes and Best of Division Awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market throughout the decades of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Garcia, Wilfred

Wilfred Garcia, Sun Clan, Acoma Pueblo, 1954 - .  Wilfred was introduced to the art of working with clay by his mother-in-law, Stella Shutiva, and is today a fine, well-established contemporary artist.  He is best known for his large whiteware ollas with appliqued motifs, all elegantly and gracefully formed and very contemporary and architectural in appearance.  Wilfred's pottery is all handcoiled of Native Acoma clay.  He kiln-fires his pottery, and signs as "WGarcia, Acoma".

Wilfred's many awards include First, Second, and Third Prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Herrera, Irene

Irene Herrera (“Apple Flower”), Zia Pueblo, 1942 - .  Irene is of both Zia and Jemez Pueblo heritage.  She learned the ancient methods from her mother, Andrea Tsosie.  Irene was only 8 years old when she was first sparked by an interest in pottery making and by the age of 12 she was painting her own pots.  For a half-century Irene has continued to make traditional polychrome Zia-style pottery (although her mother was from Jemez Pueblo, Irene chose to make pottery in the Zia manner).

Irene gathers her own native clay from within the Pueblo and grinds, hand cleans, and mixes the clay.  The colors she uses in painting are natural pigments, and her pots are handcoiled and fired outdoors.  Irene creates a wide variety of forms, including distinctive wedding vases.  Irene signs her pottery as "Irene Herrera, Zia".

Irene's awards include Best of Show at the annual Eight Northern Pueblos Show.

Lewis, Carmel

Carmel Lewis Haskaya, Roadrunner Clan, Acoma Pueblo, 1947 - .  Carmel is the youngest daughter of the world-renowned Lucy Martin Lewis, who was Carmel's great inspiration and teacher.  She is today considered one of the best Pueblo potters, and has earned great respect for the fineness of her pots and her elegant paintwork.  Her distinctive designs are often derived from her study of traditional symbols used on ancient Tularosa and Mimbres pottery shards.  Carmel's pottery is handcoiled of native clay and is decorated with natural pigments that she collects and prepares herself.

Carmel's numerous awards include First, Second, and Third Prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as prizes at the Eight Northern Pueblos Show, Heard Museum Show, and New Mexico State Fair.

Lewis, Drew

Andrew (Drew) Lewis, Roadrunner Clan, Acoma Pueblo, 1927 - .  Drew was inspired to master the potter's art by his mother, the famed Lucy Martin Lewis.  When Drew was a child, almost all Acoma pottery was created exclusively by women.  When Drew decided he wanted to learn the ancient craft and make his own pottery, Lucy taught Drew the traditional methods that had been passed down from generation to generation.

Drew specializes in handcoiled, handpainted pottery in polychrome and Anasazi Revival black-on-white.  He gathers his raw clay and temper from within the Acoma Pueblo, and extracts his paint colors from native plants and minerals.  Drew fires his pottery outdoors in the traditional manner. He signs his pottery as "Drew Lewis, Acoma, N.M.".

Drew exhibits at the Santa Fe Indian Market and New Mexico State Fair.

Medina, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Medina, Zia Pueblo, 1956 - .  Elizabeth Toya Medina is originally from Jemez Pueblo and married into Zia Pueblo.  Her mother-in-law, Sofia Medina, inspired Elizabeth to learn the art.  Elizabeth is highly regarded for the graceful form of her pottery and the harmonious designs.  She sometimes collaborates in painting her pottery with her husband, Marcellus.  Her own work and that done in collaboration with Marcellus is considered some of the best of contemporary Pueblo art.

Elizabeth's awards include First, Second, and Third Prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as prizes at the Eight Northern Pueblos Show, New Mexico State Fair, and Colorado Indian Market.

Medina, Sofia and Lois

Sofia (1932 - ) and Lois (1959 - ) Medina , Zia Pueblo.  Sofia and Lois are a mother and daughter team who create some of the finest Zia Pueblo pottery.  They are considered modern masters of this ancient art - all of their pottery is masterfully shaped and beautifully decorated.  Sofia was introduced to the craft by Trinidad Medina, one of Zia’s finest potters; Trinidad encouraged Sofia to teach all her children the art of traditional Zia pottery in turn.  They sign their pottery as "Sofia Medina-Lois Medina, Zia".

Sofia and Lois exhibit at the Santa Fe Indian Market, New Mexico State Fair, and Eight Northern Pueblos Show.  Their work is represented in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Naha, Burel

Burel Naha (“Long Hair Kachina”), Spider Clan, Tewa, 1944 - .  Burel is the son of the great Tewa potter Feather Woman (Helen Naha).

Burel creates traditional handcoiled Hopi pottery in a unique style, often incorporating spiders and intricate spiderweb designs, that pottery collectors everywhere will immediately recognize as his.  His form and painting are always flawless.  As with other members of his family, Burel's work is always in great demand.  He signs his pottery with a Feather and Long Hair Kachina symbol.

Naranjo, Forrest

Forrest Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1963 - .  Forrest specializes in handmade Sienna-style pottery, for which his family is known today.  This technique, which first came into being in the 1960’s,  involves firing to result in a color between the traditional black and red.  Forrest enhances this innovation with detailed etching and carving of his pottery.  His etching may depict animals, feathers, and any number of imaginative designs.  He also crafts bear sculptures in clay, for which he has become well known.  He signs his pottery as "Forrest".

Naranjo, Glenda

Glenda Naranjo (“Cloth Stick Flower”), Santa Clara Pueblo, 1953 - .  Glenda was taught the long family tradition of handcoiling pottery by her mother, Flora Naranjo, who instructed Glenda in all the ancient methods.  Glenda has collaborated with her mother in crafting many exceptional pieces.  Today, she specializes in black-on-black and redware pottery.  Glenda gathers her clay from the grounds within the Santa Clara Pueblo. She soaks, grinds, and hand mixes the clay and fires her handshaped product the traditional way - outdoors, with horse dung.  Glenda enjoys working with clay and proudly feels that she adds to the contemporary art world while continuing the long-lived legacy of her people.  She signs her pottery as "Glenda Naranjo, SCP."

Her awards have included First, Second, and Third Prizes at the New Mexico State Fair as well as a Second Prize at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Navasie, Marianne

Marianne Navasie, Kachina Clan, Tewa, 1945 - .  Marianne is the daughter of the famed Tewa potter Joy Navasie, and granddaughter of world-renowned Paqua Naha, the original Frogwoman.  Marianne has mastered the whiteware style pioneered by Paqua and later carried on by Joy.  She now continues the family tradition along with her siblings Maynard, Grace, Leona, Natelle, and Loretta.  Marianne’s pottery is very characteristic of the family style - crisp and elegant paintwork over a gleaming white background. She gathers all her materials from within the Hopi Pueblo, handcoils her pottery, and fires it outdoors with sheep dung.  Marianne signs her pottery either with the Frog and tadpole symbols or Frog with the letter "M".

Marianne's work has won awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, New Mexico State Fair, and Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial .

Pacheco, Paulita and Gilbert

Paulita (Fire Clan, 1943 - ) and Gilbert (Corn Clan, 1940 - ), Santo Domingo Pueblo.  Paulita and Gilbert are a husband-and-wife team who specialize in traditional handcoiled Santo Domingo pottery in a wide variety of forms, some of which is meant for everyday use (dough bowls, chili bowls, pitchers, plates).  Paulita learned the art from her mother, Juanita Tenorio, her grandmother Andrea Ortiz, and her brother Robert Tenorio.  Paulita and Gilbert collect their clay and pigments from within the Pueblo and their pottery is handcoiled and fired outdoors.  They sign their pottery as "Paulita Pacheco" with a corn symbol to represent Gilbert's Clan.

Paulita and Gilbert have won First, Second, and Third Prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as prizes at the Eight Northern Pueblos Show and Santo Domingo Pueblo Arts and Crafts Show.  They have exhibited their work at the Smithsonian Institution.