Art News

Ancient Pottery Tradition Rediscovered & Transformed at Crystal Bridges

BENTONVILLE, ARK.- More than 50 years ago young Juan Quezada stumbled upon ceramic fragments from a lost civilization. Come see how this chance discovery inspired Quezada and the people of Mata Ortíz, Mexico to revive the art of their ancestors and bring new economic life to their tiny village. Both contemporary pottery handcrafted by artists from Mata Ortíz and the centuries-old ceramics that inspired the revival are featured in Transforming Tradition: Pottery from Mata Ortíz, organized by The Field Museum in Chicago and on display at Crystal Bridges’ temporary gallery in downtown Bentonville. Sculpted, fired and then hand-painted in a labor-intensive process lovingly referred to as La Lucha, or “the Struggle,” the coiled pots, called ollas, feature a dazzling array of intricate geometric designs, fine decorative painting and incising, and beautifully rendered animal forms such as pigs and ducks. Twenty-s