Wed Aug 3
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Friends of History Wednesday Lecture Series
Evolution: Converging Tradition and Innovation
In this lecture, Cochiti artist, Virgil Ortiz takes us on a journey through the processes he uses to create his artwork. Ortiz learned to make pottery from his grandmother, Laurencita Herrera, and mother, Seferina Ortiz, both renowned Pueblo potters. From gathering and processing clay and plant materials with family members to coiling, sculpting, painting, and firing his works of art, Virgil shows us his creative process of working with ceramics, fashion, glass, and metal. The final product is an innovative take on century-old traditions. He has taken the art of traditional pottery making and transformed it into a contemporary vision.
Through his work, Virgil teaches Pueblo history to multiple generations of viewers around the world by telling the story of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt using a cast of sci-fi superheroes he’s created over the years--characters like the Blind Archers, Venutian Soldiers, Translator Army, and his latest, the Recon Watchmen. His ceramic figures tell the story of a futuristic revolt in 2180, in which Pueblo people work to restore balance to their lives and the environment.
Virgil Ortiz is one of the most avant-garde artists of his time. With a career spanning four decades, Ortiz’s artistry extends across various media and boundaries—challenging societal expectations and breaking taboos. His vision fuses his Pueblo culture with sci-fi, fantasy, and apocalyptic themes, yielding imagery that is both provocative and futuristic. Ortiz’s works are exhibited in museum collections worldwide, including Fondation Cartier pour I’art Contemporain, Smithsonian Institution, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Peabody Essex, and Denver Art Museum. Recently named the recipient of the 2022 Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Living Treasure Award, Ortiz also collaborated on a newly released book, Virgil Ortiz: ReVOlution. This mid-career monograph retrospective presents a view into Ortiz’s transformative pottery and art, illuminating his creative and artistic expressions.
This presentation is jointly sponsored by the New Mexico History Museum and the Friends of History in conjunction with the opening of the Museum’s exhibit: Honoring Tradition and Innovation: 100 Years of Santa Fe’s Indian Market,1922-2022, opening on 7 August 2022 thru August 2023.
The presentation will be available here: https://youtu.be/eraUdIyQtkU