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Hopi Artist Workshop

In collaboration with the National Museum of Ethnology in Minpaku, Japan, Located in the American Indian Student Center (April 2019-February 2019). Living in Sacred Continuum presented the works of five contemporary Hopi artists alongside and in conversation with Mimbres pottery created over 1000 years ago. The collaborative research between artists, the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Museum and the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku, Japan) centered on listening to and sharing stories inspired by creations embedded within Mimbres pottery designs. Recognition of the complexities of sharing knowledge and culture remains a consideration and has informed the creation of this exhibition.

The important work that supported this exhibition reflects significant conversation surrounding the understanding of meanings embedded within Mimbres vessels, and their contemporary placement. The time period between 1000 and 1150 CE is considered to be the peak of the Mimbres culture; the Indigenous people from this land created spectacular pottery and constructed cobble-adobe above ground architectural features located in what is now the Gila Forest in southwest area of New Mexico.

Living in Sacred Continuum and planned workshops with each of the artists represents a wider museum effort, the Info-Forum Museum, focused on the promotion and documentation of Native American culture in the American Southwest. The resulting database of archaeological and anthropological will be shared globally through Minpaku, Japan.

Five artists from Hopi pueblo have participated in the Mimbres Pottery Design Workshop coordinated by Drs. Ito Atsunori at Minpaku, and Fumiyasu Arakawa at the University Museum of NMSU. The resulting research contributes to the Descendent Community methodology that Minpaku began using in recent years, Through this methodological approach the represented artists participated in the review of over 20 Mimbres vessels at the NMSU University Museum and the Geronimo Spring Museum located in Truth or Consequences, NM.

Native artistic creations and voices presented this exhibition – participating in the continuum and preservation of cultural heritage within museum collections and exhibitions.

The exhibition consisted of five original Mimbres vessels from both our collection and a loan from Geronimo Springs Museum collection, as well as eight commissioned artworks from our Hopi artists collaborators. Since there are currently ethical dilemmas when considering traditional Mimbres pottery for display, our mission to reconsider contemporary Mimbres inspired artworks, which gives living Indigenous artists a voice and recognition, for display makes for new decolonizing methodologies within museums and curation of exhibitions. The contemporary inspired Mimbres artworks that are now a part of the NMSU University Museum collection, will soon be traveling for an exhibition in 2021 at the Amarind Museum in Dragoon, Arizona.

Meet the Artists

Gwen Setalla
Gwen Setalla practices traditional Hopi pottery using traditional techniques learned from her mother starting at the age of five. These techniques include the sourcing of all her materials from the clay to the pigments. Experimentation in different clay sources and paint pigments also inform her work. She has lectured at many academic institutions, including the Museum of Northern Arizona, Arizona State Park, and Fort Lewis College. Gwen works for Homolovi State Park and was invited to be the master potter for pottery classes at the University of Arizona.

Gerald Lomaventema
Gerald Lomaventema is a Hopi silversmith who practices traditional Hopi overlay taught by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie and his brother-in-law, Paul Saufkie, the innovators of the technique. Gerald has won the division and category in the Santa Fe Indian Market in jewelry in 2016 and was the recipient of the SFA Master-Apprentice Artist Award in 2016. Gerald expands his work as a mentor to young Hopi men and women which he teaches traditional Hopi overlay techniques and provides them the opportunity to learn about their culture and their identity.

Ramson Lomatewama
Ramson Lomatewama is an award-winning glass artist, jeweler, poet, teacher, and traditional style katsina doll carver. He is the first glassblower from the Hopi tribe. His work fuses traditional imagery with new mediums emphasizing their significance to the Hopi people. He has shown at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Fusing Traditions, a traveling exhibition, and the San Diego Museum of Man Show. He was also selected as the 2005 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native American Fellow at the School of Advanced Research. He has also released his own books of poetry including Silent Winds, Poetry of One Hopi, Ascending the Reed, and Drifting Through Ancestor Dreams. Ramson will be bringing his mobile glass blowing unit to NMSU to provide public hands-on demonstrations in addition to visiting classes for creative writing, art, and anthropology classes.

Ed Kabotie
Ed is inspired by his artistic heritage handed down to him by his father (Michael Kabotie) and grandfather (Fred Kabotie). His work has been featured in many institutions, including the Dallas Museum of Art. Ed is also an excellent speaker. He has performed many lectures at institutions, including the Museum of Northern Arizona and National Museum of American Indian. Ed also lead educational tours, exploring the Grand Canyon murals painted by his grandfather. Not only is Ed an artist and educator he also shares his personal and cultural stories through music. He has performed shows all around the Southwest, such as museum openings, festivals, and gatherings.

Spencer Nutima
To view our Memorial Exhibition Info page on Spencer Nutima, who passed a few months after completing the Living in Sacred Continuum Exhibition, click here.