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Double Vision - American Indian Pottery Show


One of the most interesting ideas I’ve encountered in recent years is one by the noted pottery scholar and dealer, Charles King: Why not pick out a superb antique American Indian pottery vessel and ask a group of leading Southwestern American Indian potters to each create a jar or bowl of any size, shape, or design that is inspired by the antique vessel.

Thus, Charles and I conceived Double Vision: Reinterpreting A Classic Zuni Jar, an American Indian pottery show that opened at King Galleries of Scottsdale on December 3 and runs through December 17.

marti_struever_at_american_indian_pottery_show_400  I’m pictured here in the King Galleries holding the classic Zuni jar surrounded by the 12 recent vessels inspired by it.
For our symbolic vessel, we selected an historic Zuni jar made between 1890 and 1920. The piece expertly depicts frogs and butterflies, which are rain motifs indicating that the jar was likely used in Zuni ceremonies for rain.  Adding to the Zuni jar’s significance is the fact that the piece is completely intact, an absolute rarity with this type of historic Zuni jar.

Once we had selected our inspiration piece, Charles and I asked noted Southwestern American Indian potters to use the Zuni jar with its rain symbolism and come up with their own interpretive piece.  Twelve contemporary American Indian potters rose to the challenge and created pots that highlight the exceedingly rich diversity in today’s American Indian pottery.  As Charles King puts it, “the resulting pottery is a stunning reflection of how a piece from over one-hundred years ago continues to inspire and speak through the clay today.”

The 12 potters are:  Autumn Borts Medlock of Santa Clara Pueblo, Susan Folwell of Santa Clara Pueblo, Jason Garcia of Santa Clara Pueblo, Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano of Cochiti and Santo Domingo Pueblos, Jake Koopee of Hopi/Tewa descent, Elizabeth Manygoats of Navajo descent, Virgil Ortiz of Cochiti Pueblo, Samuel Manymules of Navajo descent, Jennifer Moquino of Santa Clara Pueblo, Les Namingha of Hopi/Tewa descent, Jody Naranjo of Santa Clara Pueblo, and Jaime Zane Smith of Wyandot descent.

To view multiple images of the 13 vessels or shop those that are still available, view the King Galleries web feature.



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