Dates to Remember:Poster for the Mata Ortiz Gallery Show
Opening Reception:
November 9th, 4pm-7pm
Artist Talk:
November 11th
Analy Hall, Room 790



Curator's Statement
This exhibition presents the work of several Mata Ortiz ceramic artists. The work is vessel and sculptural form. These works present highly sophisticated artistic skills. In addition to the presentation of the artist’s craftsmanship, their works express the artist’s attitude toward the process of creating art. It is a sense of discipline and playfulness in the tradition of Mata Ortiz ceramics. Jerardo Tena Sandoval and Eli Navarrete are Masters of Mata Ortiz ceramics in Mexico. They achieved a remarkable level of artistic mastery earning an international reputation for creative elegance. Their work is revered and found in the world’s finest collections of indigenous, as well as modern art. Jerardo Tena Sandoval, known for his fine line paintings and hand sculpted effigies and animal figures. Eli Navarrete Ortiz is known for his beautiful vessel forms and Marble surface. Eli’s technique of creating lizards that go all the way through his clay pieces. He calls these “Fossil Pots”.
Jerardo and Eli create beautiful work with minimum tools: scraper, plaster base that support round bottom of pottery, sandpaper and human hair brush for painting surface. Without using a pottery wheel, they create highly refined precision work.
The work is made by clay coils. Many clay coils are piled up, shaped and burnished. The finished form is perfectly round and smooth by approximately 1/8-1/4” thickness and their soft surface is like a skin/leather. The round and smooth surface attract us to touch.
When I observe their works, I am impressed by the potential ability of human craftsmanship.
Jerardo and Eli’s work reminds me that human hands are one of the best tools for art. Their art work is highly sophisticated and refined. And it expresses the artist’s spirit.
I extend my special thanks and gratitude to the collector, Joann Cassady, for her generosity in lending her collection to the exhibition, and the effort to organizing Jerardo Tena Sandoval and Eli Navarette’s art works without which this show would not be possible. Her collection and Jerardo’s and Eli’s work perfectly support my intent for this exhibition. Also, I would like to thank Michael Garcia for his beautiful exhibition posters; Ty Benoit, retired dean, who volunteered to translate the labels; Rachel Minor for label and insurance preparation; the SRJC Foundation for financial support through the RNCEE Enrichment Grant; and finally the Gallery Committee and Renata Breth, Art Gallery Director, for their assistance with this project.
Hiroshi Fuchigami,
Instructor of Ceramics