AN­CES­TRAL hand­prints

NA­TIVE TREA­SURES CEL­E­BRATES POT­TER JOY NARANJO

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - Michael Abatemarco The New Mex­i­can

each year, the Mu­seum of In­dian Arts and Cul­ture des­ig­nates a dif­fer­ent Na­tive artist as a Liv­ing Trea­sure. That hon­oree’s work is fea­tured at the an­nual Na­tive Trea­sures: In­dian Arts Festival, which takes place this year at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Satur­day, May 27, and Sun­day, May 28. The cer­e­mony nam­ing the Liv­ing Trea­sure in­volves the pass­ing of a unique torch — an orig­i­nal work of art that is pre­sented by the pre­vi­ous year’s awardee. This year’s artist is Santa Clara pot­ter Jody Naranjo, who will re­ceive the ti­tle from Hopi-Tewa pain­ter and sculp­tor Dan Nam­ingha.

“I be­lieve I’m the 14th Liv­ing Trea­sure,” said Naranjo, whose work is on view in the MIAC ex­hibit

Re­veal­ing Joy through De­cem­ber, as well as in a show hon­or­ing cur­rent and past Liv­ing Trea­sures, on ex­hibit at the New Mex­ico Gover­nor’s Gallery in the Round­house through Aug. 25. The Na­tive Trea­sures ex­hibit and sale adds an­other venue for view­ing Naranjo’s works. “There’s about 200 of us that do the Na­tive Trea­sures show,” she said. “It’s a juried show. We do­nate part of our pro­ceeds to the mu­seum and that goes to­ward ed­u­ca­tion and to­ward the ex­hibits. What I’m hav­ing at the con­ven­tion cen­ter over Me­mo­rial Day week­end is ac­tu­ally my new pot­tery, bronze, and glass, and I have can­dles and blan­kets I de­signed that will be out for sale so that I can rep­re­sent all of my dif­fer­ent art forms.”

At the Gover­nor’s Gallery, Naranjo’s work can be seen along with pieces by Dan Nam­ingha, Teri Greeves, Keri Ataumbi, and other Liv­ing Trea­sures go­ing back to 2006, when Robert Teno­rio of Santo Domingo Pue­blo be­came the first Na­tive artist to re­ceive the honor. Art­works by Teno­rio, Greeves, Tammy Gar­cia, and other Liv­ing Trea­sures, as well as other Na­tive artists, are also in­cluded in a pre-show sale and ben­e­fit at the con­ven­tion cen­ter on Fri­day evening, when Naranjo is hon­ored and the Na­tive Trea­sures awards for best of show are pre­sented. More than 40 Na­tive pueb­los and tribes are rep­re­sented in the festival, which in­cludes works in pot­tery, jewelry, fetish carv­ing, bead­work, sculp­ture, bas­ketry, and more.

For Naranjo, who is rep­re­sented by Blue Rain Gallery, pot­tery is a fam­ily tra­di­tion go­ing back gen­er­a­tions. “I think I’m at least eighth gen­er­a­tion,” she said. “It goes back far­ther than that. My mother, my grand­mother, her mother and grand­mother, and so on, we all do pot­tery. There’s prob­a­bly around 40 or 50 pot­ters in my fam­ily. We do it as a com­mu­nity as well. We go dig clay. We fire to­gether. It’s kind of nice to sit and com­pare and show each other lit­tle tricks and things you’ve learned.” Naranjo, who was born in 1969, has been us­ing clay from the time she was three or four years old. MIAC’s ex­hibit Re­veal­ing Joy is a solo show of her ce­ram­ics. “It’s a ret­ro­spec­tive,” she said. “There are pieces that go back about 30 years.”

Naranjo does tra­di­tional Santa Clara pot­tery, known for its black and red wares with in­cised de­signs, but she also cre­ates more whim­si­cal, fig­u­ra­tive imagery. “My characters are not re­al­is­tic,” she said. “They’re more like car­i­ca­tures, lit­tle happy peo­ple. At least that’s what peo­ple al­ways tell me: ‘They’re so happy.’ Some Pue­blo de­signs have be­come more styl­ized for me. I do old Mim­bres de­signs, but then I pull in

land­scapes with the moun­tains and pueb­los, a river with the fish, a sky with the birds. I love land­scape pot­tery.” It isn’t un­com­mon to see the river or a mis­sion church in her de­signs. In her scenes, she de­picts the pueb­los lo­cated along the Río Grande; many fea­ture a Catholic church in the mis­sion style.

Naranjo does out­door wood-burn­ing fir­ings us­ing cedar, which burns hot and fast. She can achieve a range of col­ors in the firing process be­fore adding pig­ments. “I dig three dif­fer­ent clays. One is up at Santa Clara Pue­blo and that’s kind of a brown clay. I dig up vol­canic ash in the Po­joaque area and then I add in some of the mi­ca­ceous clay which is out to­ward Pi­curis and Taos Pueb­los. I make the pieces us­ing a coil method. I don’t use a wheel or molds of any kind. Then I sand them down and pol­ish them with riverbed stones. Gen­er­ally, those stones are passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion in our fam­ily. You can see your grand­mother’s and great-grand­mother’s hand­print on the stone be­cause they’ve been held so long and rubbed so long.” Naranjo is most pas­sion­ate about the sur­face treat­ment, for which she uses a com­bi­na­tion of hand-drawn and painted el­e­ments with carved de­signs. “That’s my thing. I love dec­o­rat­ing them. I find the pots to be like an empty can­vas. I carve Pue­blo girls and pue­blo scenes, lots of dif­fer­ent an­i­mals. I like do­ing the back­grounds with dif­fer­ent pat­terns. I try to add in color with nat­u­ral pig­ments and just have fun with it.”

de­tails

▼ Na­tive Trea­sures: In­dian Arts Festival ▼ Pre-show cel­e­bra­tion and ben­e­fit 5:30 p.m. Fri­day, May 26; early-bird sale 9-10 a.m., then 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Satur­day, May 27; 10 a.m. -5 pm Sun­day, May 28 ▼ Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, 201 W. Marcy St., 505-955-6200 ▼ $125 pre-show ben­e­fit, call 505-982-6366, Ext. 119; Satur­day early­bird sale $25, Satur­day gen­eral ad­mis­sion $10, tick­ets at the door; no charge Sun­day

Right, Jody Naranjo and Glen­dora Fragua: Pue­blo Luck, 2015, clay with acrylic paint; top left, Naranjo cruises past Black Mesa on her 1964 Har­ley David­son, 1995; top right, pots season be­fore be­ing fired at Santa Clara, 2008 & 2012; op­po­site page, Birds of Flight, 2014, Santa Clara Clay

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