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Window on the Clay Arts in New Mexico

02 Apr 2023 5:05 PM | Cirrelda Snider-Bryan (Administrator)

By Sheena Cameron

Great job again to the organizers and artists that have made the 2023 Sunport Ceramics Showcase an outstanding display. It shows 48 pieces representing 35 artists.  The diversity is astounding, as is the (thoughtfully-preplanned) arrangement.

Standing back and taking the show in as a whole, shows that the group’s goal, of demonstrating the amazing talent and diversity of clay artists in our state, has been accomplished.

 Lois Olcott Price’s show-stopping “Afghanistan 1984." Photo by Sheena Cameron

It also shows that there are a lot of artists using the natural colors of clay as an integral part of the message of their piece. It looks like these artists love clay and understand clay. One of the most outstanding examples of this is Lois Olcott Price’s show-stopping “Afghanistan 1984." It would have lost much of its impact had it been in color or smaller. Other pieces that so honored natural clay are: Hebe Garcia’s "Thoughts and Memories," both of Serit’s pieces, Catherine McClain’s creative "Wrinkles in Nature," Debi Smith’s “Contemplative," and my own use of natural clay color in the skin tone for “Our Deb Haaland."

 Andrea Pichaida’s “Moonrise over the Sandias” and Sjoran Fitzpatrick's “Fish Rising." Photo by Sheena Cameron

Another thing that is apparent is some masterful use of color. Andrea Pichaida’s “Moonrise over the Sandias” astounded me with its unique use of color until I remembered she used to be a painter. But few painters seem to use color that masterfully. It seems it would not have worked as well in a painting medium as the textures, piercings, and the play of the inside and outside of the vessel would have been lost. The other standout color piece was Ann Trott’s lime green “Pod/Emerging." It was not nearly as striking in its photograph. We needed to see the flocking glaze technique in person to get the feeling of the magic of a green, growing, living being from the plant realm.

To prove black and white can also be powerful, Sjoran Fitzpatrick brings us “Fish Rising." It was one of the most commented-on pieces, looking ancient and ceremonial.

We have all seen, over the years, many amazing animal sculptures from Kari Rives. She did not disappoint this year, bringing us “Marshall the Musk Ox.” With his massive body yet soulful eyes, he is definitely a guy you can love.

Usually we can count on Leonard Baca to bring us a beautiful piece of functional pottery with clean lines and masterful glazing. But this time he brings us “Secret Dreams Giddy-up” which evokes the enchantment of many of the rock faces of New Mexico, with its secret passages and contrasting  glazes on the various planes.

Fortunately, this did not leave the show without beautiful functional pottery. Richard Orlando’s “Dogwood Plate” and “Lizard Bowl,” and Adam Padilla”s “Cosmos Vase” are sublime.

NMPCA has definitely done a great service to the Clay Artists of NewMexico with this show.                    

--Sheena Cameron

We call ourselves the NMPCA!