MATA ORTIZ: MORE ANGELS AMONG US (This is what we’re talking about!)

Bravo to Silver City’s Clay Festival, already a stellar annual event! Check out the program the Festival offers on Sunday, August 3, 2014,10 A.M, at Seedboat Center for the Arts. For the first time, a Mata Ortiz artist, Diego Valles, will participate in a panel discussion about Mata Ortiz  Pottery. Diego’s pottery was the talk of last year’s Festival. This year Diego has the opportunity to speak on stage about the success he and other Mexican artists are having with contemporary pottery techniques as a 21st Century Mata Ortiz strives for continued excellence. And Clay Festival listeners will have the first of what will no doubt be many opportunities to hear a Mata Ortiz potter broaden our perspectives on their living Latino Art.  Congrats to the Clay Festival on this important first!

Another first time panel participant, Western New Mexico Professor Emeritus Claude Smith, also a professional potter, will join Diego in the discussion. Even as we post this, Claude is hard at work creating his own ceramic magic for the Festival! His vases, mugs and decorative plates will delight viewers and tempt buyers alike. Claude’s knowledge of pottery is sure to enlighten listeners and help us all to better appreciate clay creations showcased in the 2014 Clay Festival. Claude is truly a Silver City treasure.

In the meantime, check out the amazing contemporary work of Diego Valles downtown at Seedboat Center for the Arts, 214 W. Yankie St., Silver City, New Mexico. Enjoy Claude’s outstanding pieces when they are featured at Western New Mexico University Museum, Saturday, August 2nd, 3-6 PM. Let’s go!

7 thoughts on “MATA ORTIZ: MORE ANGELS AMONG US (This is what we’re talking about!)”

  1. I attended last year. It’s a great event, not just for Mata Ortiz but also a diverse variety of clay arts and history.
    And the town is quite picturesque.

    1. Elizabeth, thanks for your comments. This year’s panel discussion includes a talented, college-educated bilingual (Spanish and English) potter from Mata Ortiz.

  2. Well I just attended a Clay Festival one-hour lecture: Conteporary Ceramics and Mata Ortiz Pottery. 50 minutes into the lecture it was almost entirely about US , Asian, and Euro ceramics. 3 brief mentions of Mata Ortiz. Had it been called Modernization of Western Ceramics I might have enjoyed it. But once again, an Anglo speaker had a disproportionately non-Latino agenda billed as a discussion of Mata Ortiz. Let’s hope for more balance at Sunday’s panel.

  3. Well, Sunday’s panel was, in my opinion, lopsided. I even used a timer to determine the length of each person’s discussion. The sole Mata Ortiz potter spoke roughly 10% of the time in a panel which at very least should have allowed him 25%. And don’t be fooled by excuses that he’s shy, or unfamiliar with attention, or non English speaking. He’s none of these. He was interrupted, talked over and given a lousy spot in the line up. And he was by far the brightest light on stage. He shone despite it all!

  4. Dear MO Blog,
    What is your position on lumping together as “potters” those who never touch the clay, never make the clay piece, only paint something they bought from someone who supplies ready- to -paint pots vs. the potters who dig, wash, knead and prepare their own clay and make all of their own vessels in preparation for the painting or any further decoration they may deem appropriate?
    Top awards are given without any distinction between “decorators” and actual ceramicists who take clay from beginning to finish…… I hear much complaining about this issue in the village, especially about non-makers winning top awards in the local and national competitions……..
    Could be an interesting topic!! Any comments
    Carlotta Boettcher

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