Art Blog

On Saturday, October 28th at 6:30 pm, the Sedona Arts Center will be hosting a free lecture and slide presentation by Diego Valles and Hector Gallegos Jr., two of Mata Ortiz, Mexico’s, most accomplished contemporary potters.

The lecture will provide insight into the history, evolution and contemporary aspects of the Mata Ortiz tradition. The lecture will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, with opportunities for meeting the two potters and viewing some examples of different pottery styles. There will be a special table to showcase pieces that can be purchased, with proceeds funding special social responsibility projects in the village, including scholarships for students.

Mata Ortiz is a small village in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, less than 100 miles from the US-Mexico border. The artistic movement in the village is due to the efforts of Juan Quezada, the self-taught originator of modern Mata Ortiz pottery, who taught the artform to his family and neighbors. Begun in the 1980s, now about 300 of the 2,000 inhabitants in the town are involved in making these unique pots (or ‘ollas’ as they are called in the village).

The pots are shaped by hand, using bowl-shaped molds, adding coils of clay. They are painted with fine strands of children’s hair, with some pots involving such intricate painting that can they take a potter several months to complete. Rather than in kilns, many pots are fired using cow dung or cottonwood bark.

Diego Valles and Hector Gallegos Jr. represent the best of Mata Ortiz’s contemporary pottery movement. Both have pushed the limits of artistic creativity and excellence, winning numerous awards, both within and outside of Mexico, for their creations. Their work has been displayed at numerous galleries throughout Mexico, the U.S. and a number of other countries.

Sedona Arts Center is one of Northern Arizona’s most well-established cultural organizations and serves as the creative heart of Sedona. Founded in 1958, the nonprofit organization is based at 15 Art Barn Road in Uptown and offers year-round classes, exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events that enhance the creative life of the Verde Valley.

The Center’s Fine Art Gallery, open daily from 10am to 5pm, promotes the original works of over 100 local artists and regularly offers special assistance for collectors and art buyers, offers private studio visits, and fosters hundreds of arts education opportunities each year.

For more information, call 928-282-3865 or visit