Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women

Reeves Museum of Ceramics, February 1 - April 29, 2023

Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women

Presenting new artwork by Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo), Judy Tafoya (Santa Clara Pueblo) and Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo), Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women offers and intimate look at the work of these Pueblo potters from New Mexico. Each of these artists is a renowned potter, recognized for distinctive work of high quality; beyond their accolades, they are also culture bearers. As contemporary Native women artists, they defy expectations and stereotypes. By being and doing, they place Pueblo art and culture in the here and now, creating a connection from their ancestors to their descendants. Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women presents Pueblo pottery in a context of place, time and culture. Learn how Mother Clay is revealed through three women. 

This exhibit is free and open to the public, with a scheduled reception and artist panel on Wednesday, February 1, from 5- 7 PM. All three artists and the guest curator, Tony Chavarria, will be at the opening reception for an artist talk and to answer questions about their work.

This exhibition was curated by Tony Chavarria and developed with the assistance of former Senior Curator of Ceramics, Ron Fuchs II; Patricia Hobbs, Senior Curator of Art; and W&L's Native American and Indigenous Cohort. It was made possible through the generosity and involvement of Dr. Joel Bernstein ’57, who introduced the Museums’ to the three Native American artists.  

Above Images: Kathleen Wall, Peaceful Presence, 2022; Judy Tafoya, a traditional earthenware pot from Santa Clara Pueblo, 2022; Judy Naranjo, Jar with Horses, 2022

Tony Chavarria, Guest Curator

Tony Chavarria (Santa Clara Pueblo) has over 30 years of experience collaborating with tribes and curating Native material culture. As Curator of Ethnology at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, he has curated many exhibitions of historic and contemporary Native Art. He served as the Community Liaison and co-curator for the inaugural Pueblo exhibition at NMAI and was co-curator for the first Native exhibition at Epcot Center. In 2022, Tony and Lucy Fowler Williams co-curated Water, Wind, Breath at the Barnes Foundation, and with Brian Vallo and Stewart Koyiyumptewa, co-curated the Protect Chaco Canyon section of the Field Museum’s Native North American Hall renovations. He continues to consult with many museums on matters of Native art and culture. He is an artist and occasional potter.
Photo by Will Wilson (Diné), courtesy of the Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX).

Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women

Exhibit and Artist Photos

Guest curator Tony Chavarria leading a tour of Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women
Artist Kathleen Wall speaking with guests at the Mother Clay opening reception
Artist Judy Tafoya speaking at a tour of Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women
President Dudley visiting the Mother Clay opening reception
Artists Kathleen Wall and Judy Tafoya and guest curator Tony Chavarria speaking with one of Professor Andrea Lepage’s Art History classes