Sofa West Art Convention Spotlights Contemporary Southwest Native Pottery

Three-day symposium in Santa Fe, N.M., runs from July 6-8

By: By Deanna Ting

During this year’s Sofa West: Santa Fe 2010 art show, held this July, interested art aficionados can attend a three-day symposium that delves into the topic of collecting new Southwest Native Pottery. Entitled, “Historic Bond/Contemporary Spirit: Collecting New Southwest Native Pottery,” it includes presentations from Garth Clark, an author and specialist in modern and contemporary ceramics, curator, critic and dealer; Bruce Bernstein, the executive director for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts; and Ellen Bradbury, the former director of Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, which is now known as the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Mark Lyman, president of The Art Fair Company, which produces of Sofa art fairs in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe, N.M., said the symposium was organized in response to “the many Sofacollectors expressing keen interest in learning more about the extraordinary cultural and artistic heritage of Santa Fe and its surrounding Native American pueblos.”

“Native American’s Southwest pottery culture is rich, mesmerizing, unparallel and uninterrupted for 2,000 years,” said Clark. Of the symposium, Clark said, “A small group will travel the two millennia with their guides, noted scholars and native potters, via a privileged program of travel, demonstrations and lecture presentations. Were I not on the program, I would have signed up yesterday.” Clark and his partner, Mark Del Vecchio will also exhibit in Sofa West: Santa Fe 2010 as Clark + Del Vecchio, representing acclaimed Native ceramic artists such as Christine McHorse, Diego Romero and Virgil Ortiz.

For Bernstein, the symposium provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the deeper meaning behind Southwestern native pottery from both the past and present.

“Over the centuries, Southwestern native pottery has been through cycles of renewal and regeneration, resulting in compelling contemporary innovations including new forms, techniques and symbolism,” said Bernstein. ”This symposium will explore Native pottery’s ongoing meanings and today’s creations of great beauty.”

The symposium will include exclusive, curator-led tours of internationally recognized museum collections of both prehistoric and historic Pueblo pottery, as well as private collections of historic and contemporary Native ceramics. Participants will also tour the Pueblo of Acoma and witness the making of Pueblo pottery first-hand.

For more information on the symposium, agents and client are encouraged to visit or they may call 800-344-2998 or e-mail The cost per person for the symposium is $825 without lodging and $1,550 with lodging. The tour will also be limited to 40 participants in total.

Sofa West: Santa Fe 2010 will take place from July 8-11 in Santa Fe.