Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women

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

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

Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women

About the Exhibition

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.  

Museums at Washington and Lee University

Events and Programming

Artist Panel Discussion

February 1, 2023: 5 – 6 p.m.

Leyburn Library, Northen Auditorium

The Museums at W&L invite you to join us in meeting and celebrating Jody Naranjo, Judy Tafoya, and Kathleen Wall, whose work will be featured in Mother Clay. The evening will begin with a panel of the artists led by guest curator Tony Chavarria, followed by a reception. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public.

Opening Reception

February 1, 2023: 6:15 – 7:00 p.m.

Reeves Museum of Ceramics

Join the Museums at W&L for the opening reception for Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women following the exhibition’s Artist Panel Discussion. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public. Food and drink provided – IDs required for consumption of alcoholic beverages. 

Demonstrating Native Allyship Luncheon

February 2, 2023: Noon – 1 p.m.

Watson Galleries

Join the Museums at W&L for a special lunch and discussion with retired professor of Native American art and W&L alumnus, Dr. Joel Bernstein ’57, as he shares insights from over 50 years of work and friendship with members of Native American communities.

Guided Tours with Tony Chavarria

February 2, 2023: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Reeves Museum of Ceramics

The Museums at W&L invite you to join guest curator Tony Chavarria for a guided tour of Mother Clay. There will be three 20-minute tours at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 2:30 pm. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public.

Monacan Pottery Demonstrations with Victoria Ferguson

March 10-11, 2023: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Reeves Museum of Ceramics

Join the Museums at W&L for special demonstrations of traditional Monacan pottery making by Victoria Ferguson, an enrolled citizen of the Monacan Nation and Program Director for Solitude House within the Inclusion and Diversity Office at Virginia Tech.