Contemporary Native American ceramics constitute an on-going dialogue concerning the past, present and future, embracing personal expression and cultural essence. The works and the underlying creative processes revitalize the individual, strengthen the community and ensure the future for Native peoples. The compassion, vision and spiritual energies embedded within the creations, made of Clay Mother, speak also to the world at large, conveying delight, inspiration and introspection, which is the ultimate goal of all noble works of art.
Pueblo artists of New Mexico perceive the forming of the vessel and its painting process as pious acts of prayer seeking spiritual energy, divine guidance and universal equilibrium. The vessels’ stunning geometric designs or deep, monochromatic surfaces are more than decoration; they are personal supplications for spiritual well being.
All vessels in the exhibit are hand-built without the use of the potter’s wheel. Most Native artists mine the clay and prepare the pastes and slips (pottery paints) using local clays and coloring agents (plants and minerals). Firing is typically done in open fires and not in kilns.