In 2003, in a match no doubt blessed by the ancient potters themselves, Hector Gallegos Junior and Laura Bugarini were married, That union united two of the best known pottery families in Mata Ortiz. Both Hector and Laura are frequent award winners at the numerous concursos and other pottery events throughout Mexico and the United States. These days, Hector and Laura’s work is in huge demand, usually requiring waiting lists, often lengthy ones.
In addition to his art, Hector Gallegos Jr. is dedicated to fitness and body building. He competes, and frequently wins or places, in body building competitions in Mexico and the United States. Along with his pottery studio, Hector has his own gym at the back of his home in Barrio Americano. Laura supports him in his fitness passion by making sure his diet is nutritious. Laura and Hector also collaborate on pottery projects, as well as continuing to make their own individual pieces. Their daughter Pablita attends private school with high academic standards and English curriculum. Hector too is acquiring good English language skills, sometimes practicing with ten-year-old Pabla.
Hector is a founding member of El Grupo Siete, The Group of Seven, an alliance of Mata Ortiz artists working for positive, locally envisioned change in the village. The Gallegos family often travels to the United States and throughout Mexico for art, body building and Group of Seven functions, as well as fun. They are indeed a 21st Century pottery family, wise, worldly and working for the transformation they want to see. Hector is part of a remarkable new wave of Mata Ortiz potters that has been called “the Young Turks.” In so many good ways, they all live up to that global comparison.
Juan Quezada, Laura Bugarini, Pabla Gallegos and Hector Gallegos Junior at the Concurso in Mata Ortiz, 2012.