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Clarence Cruz

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Clarence Cruz(Khuu Khaayay)
"The Emergence Exhibit"

Clarence Cruz Personal Artist Statement
Clarence Cruz - Personal Statement This "Emergence" exhibition is the result of creating art with materials from their natural environment, which speaks of identity. The art work in the exhibition consists of fifteen pottery pieces that were hand built for this installation. Through the creation of this group of work, I explore the emergence of a bond created between land and people.

My work is about regeneration of a historic representation of pottery and the bond that is created between land and people, which allows expression of the world, at various times, places and spaces.

The medium of clay allows me to express a sense of connection to the earth. Pueblo people believe that we originated from the womb of the earth, in the form of clay. I find that by the regeneration of these different styles of pottery (black on black/matte, Potsuwi’i incised, black on white, polychrome, and micaceous) I am allowed to make a universal statement about the struggle within oneself to maintain a respectful connection with the natural environment.

As a Native artist working in clay in 2007, I find an abundant history in which to explore clay’s significance as both a utilitarian material and as an artistic medium. Clay has become my accepted medium for its viability and versatility. In 1920 Julian and Maria Martinez pushed clay into the art scene in the form of pottery with a high polished black on black matte look, which projected a two-dimensional image. They were interested in clay as a material and as a product of identity. They are renowned for their artistic revival in the process of creating their pieces. I, too, am interested in the process and the materials and creating a product of identity. The physical challenge of gathering the materials from their natural environment creates an intimacy with the material and an intimate connection with the land that provides the materials.

All images and text in this web site are copyright © 2003, Phillip Karshis. All artwork featured at this web site is copyright of the respective artists.

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