Native American art is just as alive today as it was before European colonization throughout the Americas triggered the decline of their unique civilizations and empires. Regulated to reservations for decades and still wandering through the reverberations of institutional injustice today, Native Americans have nonetheless left an indelible mark on present western society - perhaps most evidently through art. Some have done so through traditional forms, others by more modern conventions, but when viewing the amalgamate all come into focus as an unbroken chain connecting one distinct identity. We’re passionate about Native American art at C & D Gifts in New Mexico, and love sharing their unique and beautiful traditions with the world. One way we can do this is through education, which is why we think you should know the name and synopsis of a famous Native American artist or two!
Marcellus & Elizabeth Medina
Marcellus was born in 1954 and Elizabeth was born in 1956. Elizabeth is from Jemez and married into Zia. She learned to pot from Marcellus' mother Sophia Medina. Marcellus learned to paint by his father Rafeal Medina. They work as a team with Elizabeth preparing the clay and coiling, sanding, stone polishing and firing the pots. Marcellus does the painting. They fire all their pottery outdoors. They have won too many awards to list and they also make the Trophy for the New Mexico Bowl every year!
LuAnn Tafoya was born in 1938 and has been making pottery since she was a child. She specializes in traditional stone polished carved bowls, water jars and large storage vessels. She digs her clay from the Santa Clara Reservation, uses natural slips, natural paints and fires her pottery outdoors. She was taught by her mother Margaret Tafoya who happens to be one of the most famous potters of all time! She has won many awards at Santa Fe Indian Market including “Best Of Show” and “Best Of Pottery”. She has passed on her talent to her son Daryl Whitegeese.
More Famous Native American Artists In The World Of Pottery
We have a particular fondness for Native American art pottery at C & D Gifts! We carry some of the finest examples of pottery created using purely traditional as well as modern techniques, and don’t charge astronomical prices that would keep them out of any collector’s possession. We have fallen in love with many a famous Native American artist carrying on the fine tradition of pottery making today, but here are a few names you should definitely be aware of:
Mrs. Victorino, born in 1958 at the Acoma Pueblo into a family of world-renowned pottery makers, is a member of the Eagle and Acorn clans. She makes her pottery in the traditional hand-coil method - a tedious technique that requires much patience and talent - before decorating them in the Acoma method. She has perfected a magnificent style of pattern on the face known as “Opt-Art” where the design grows in size gradually from one end to the other. When it comes to a famous Native American artist with a stellar reputation, hardly any surpass Sandra Victorino today - although her sons are now rising to that level! Her awards include winning first, second, and third place from Indian Market in Santa Fe, as well as numerous awards from the Guild Indian Art Fair at the Heard Museum, and at the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show.
Jennifer Tafoya (Moquino) is from the Santa Clara Pueblo and is the daughter of Ray and Emily Tafoya. She produces her pottery in the traditional Santa Clara way of sgraffito and is responsible for the resurgence of popularity in that niche, which originated with Joseph Lonewolf in the 1970s. All of her pottery is done by sourcing natural materials and constructed using the traditional hand-coiled technique. Her work is notable for featuring very intricate designs with wildlife, mountain, and floral themes with an amazing sense of realism in her imagery. Jennifer Tafoya is a famous Native American artist whose pots are in high demand and can fetch some very high prices. Her awards are numerous, especially at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Indian Heard Market. You also can find critics gushing about Jennifer Tafoya’s Native American art in books such as Talking with the Clay, Crafted to Perfection, and Breaking the Mold.
To learn more about a famous Native American artist or Native American art, feel free to ask us at our website at https://canddgiftsnm.com/.