Mata Ortiz is a small town NW of Chihuahua, about 100+ miles South of El Paso. Just North of it are the ruins of Paquime, a large Indian center of the Casa Grande culture that vanished about six centuries ago.
Juan Quezada, a native of Mata Ortiz, had quit school to work the fields at twelve. In his wanderings he found many pottery shards from Paquime. He decided to experiment and try to reproduce the pottery of the Casa Grande culture. A fascinating story of decades of experimentation, sourcing native materials and techniques, developing his own, always comparing it to his shards for reference, resulted in an extraordinary indigenous pottery that has evolved into a style of its own & is now world-famous. They are made in a very simple way. Here's a video showing the process: [Link].
Donna Gordon Gallery & Studio (DGGS) is a jewel of a gallery situated at 625 Central Avenue that is presently showing the works, or ollas, of many of the best Mata Ortiz potters. On the left, three pieces. The tall one is by Celia Veloz, the red one by Fito Tena. In the foreground, by Antonio Veloz. Note the intricate native-themed designs on the two larger ones. These are original, painted by freehand, without a predetermined sketch.
On the right are two pots with intricate symbology and geometric designs. On on the left, by Carlos Loya, on the right, by Carmen Veloz. Note the snake form on the Loya, and the many Zia-like (Sun/Cardinal points of the Compass) symbols.
The large vessel with the Hare theme on the left is by Lencho Sanchez. On the right is another piece by Fito Tena. Incredibly, these works are very reasonably priced.
This show runs through May 28th. Donna Gordon is an innovative sculptress. See her gallery site here [Link] and more work here [Link].
Gallery hrs. Wed-Sat noon to 5 PM.
For information on NCECA: [Link]