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Visit With Ortiz Family Potters


Lately, I’ve been so busy that I’ve neglected to write about my many American Indian art adventures.  I resolve to write more frequently in the coming months beginning with a past adventure that sticks out in my mind as being particularly special.  Last June, while traveling on my American Indian Art Field Trip, I had a wonderful experience taking my field trip group to the life-long home of Virgil Ortiz, the nationally renowned artist from Cochiti Pueblo.  I’m pleased to have known Virgil for many years and to have watched his career skyrocket.

virgil_ortiz_with_handbag Virgil Ortiz shows Marti his newest handbag, and she's absolutely thrilled by it.
Virgil Ortiz works in varied mediums from pottery to fashion design and even comic books; all of his creations provide insightful social commentary.  Virgil is, in fact, the subject of a wonderful profile produced in 2009 by KNME-TV.  (read the New Mexico Independent article on Virgil or scroll down past the article to view the program on Virgil Ortiz.) Probably still recognized best for his pottery, Virgil only creates about twenty pieces per year.  We are lucky enough to be able to offer one such pottery piece that Virgil Ortiz created right here, and even at a special price!  
Marti is enjoying all the Ortiz Family pottery figures.

The breadth of creative work in pottery runs throughout Virgil’s entire family, and I was so happy to have the opportunity to introduce my field trip group to the Ortiz family potters.  Three generations of Ortiz potters were on-hand to say “hello” during our visit.  I had an especially good discussion with Lisa Holt, Virgil’s niece.  She and her husband, Harlan Reano of Santo Domingo Pueblo, have become widely recognized for their painted pottery figures.  I happen to have just one of these Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano figures here.  Lisa carefully forms the pottery figures while Harlan hand-paints them.

My Ortiz family get-together was a refreshing interlude during a particularly demanding period in my business.  As I sat there, surrounded by an astonishing array of creativity, all within a single Puebloan family, my fatigue from days on the road just melted away.   It’s amazing how great artwork (and great artists) can inject a person with energy!


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