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2009 Trip

Marti's Southwestern Adventure

A Personal Trip Led by Martha Hopkins Struever

June 11 - 21, 2009


This journey, for a small group of travelers, centered on Southwestern American Indian art both today and historically – visiting intimately with artists and collectors, searching out ancient ruins, traveling to remote Pueblo villages, and behind-the-scenes museum visits.

Looking back over 21 years of my art field trips, I selected a few past highlights to include in the 2009 adventure.   We traveled in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.   There, I lined up private meetings with leading contemporary artists, visits with living Pueblo communities, viewings of both private and museum collections, and a very special day at Chaco Canyon in the company of Dr. Gwinn Vivian, foremost specialist on the archaeology of the Southwest’s most spectacular ancient ruin.

Here are a few trip highlights:
  •  Traveled west to Window Rock, capitol of the Navajo Nation, to meet Sylvia Begay Radcliffe and Kay Begay Rogers, daughters of master jeweler Kenneth Begay, and view their family’s private collection of their father’s incomparable jewelry.  
  • Headed further west to view a traditional katsina dance on the remote Hopi mesas.
  • Adjourned our Hopi day at the home of Dorothy and Emerson Ami, for a special dinner given in our honor.  The Amis are potters and we saw a pottery firing while there.
  • Drove through the heart of the Navajo Nation to Mesa Verde National Park where we stayed at Farview Lodge with its spectacular views and fine restaurant.  The next morning, we visited the famous jewelry and pottery collection of Mary Colter now stored at the Park.
  • Viewed spectacular mountain scenery from our private car on the Durango and Silverton narrow-gauge railroad, which took us to Silverton, Colorado, before we returned to Durango and met Jackson Clark at his Tohatin Gallery.
  • Met Jeanne Brako, the curator of The Center of Southwest Studies at Ft. Lewis College, who introduced us to “The Durango Collection” of rare American Indian textiles spanning 8 centuries.
  • Traveled from Durango to Chaco Canyon with Dr. Gwinn Vivian, who briefed us on the history of these major ruins.  Dr. Vivian literally “grew up” at Chaco and provided insights into the “Great Houses” built between AD 900 and 1150.  Our group walked into the largest of these architectural wonders.
  • Visited nationally recognized potter Virgil Ortiz, accompanied by several family pottery artists, at Virgil’s Cochiti Pueblo home, who discussed and showed their most recent work.
  • Dined on a special lunch that awaited us at the nearby San Felipe Pueblo home of Richard and Sharon Chavez.   Richard and his son, Jared, create some of today’s most sought-after jewelry. 


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