The Native American people of this region have lived in harmony and respect with their natural environment.

Stories of their emergence and of their living history are handed down from one generation to the next through prayer and song. The traditional knowledge of their ancestors is the basis for how they live today and is reflected in architecture, traditions, arts and ceremony.

We are most grateful for the blessings of our Earth Mother as she provides us with all that we need to sustain our livelihood now, and into the future. As native people living in modern times, we have a responsibility to maintain balance with our natural environment and world trends. As you explore this collection of traditional and contemporary artwork, you will see memories of the past as well as the voice and creativity of modern native people.

We invite you to enjoy this celebration of cultural art.

Gerti Sanchez

My name is Gerti Mapoo Sanchez. I am a full-blooded Native American from the Pueblo of Isleta. I am a self taught artist who has been creating art since an early age. I initially did drawings and paintings which have earned several ribbons and awards. Then my interest turned to traditional pottery making.

Isleta Pueblo is rich in Native American culture and has been frequented by many tourists over the years. Isleta red clay pottery was popular in the early 1900’s and slowly disappeared as industry and employment came to the area my mother, grandmother and aunts were traditional pottery makers, they shared their stories of how they collected clays, gathered paints and the method used to shape and
fire their wares. I used this precious knowledge to teach myself pottery making.

My pottery is traditional in shape and form. I use traditional clays and paints not only from Isleta, but also the surrounding areas. My designs are a combination of old traditional and newer contemporary, creating a style of my own, with great respect to my culture and traditions. My artwork includes traditional pottery, nativity sets and figurines. My pottery is signed “Mapoo” my given Indian name, which means “Corn Silk”. My work can be seen and is readily available in various galleries and shops throughout the southwest.

“Since entering the realm of pottery making, I have been given the opportunity to show and exhibit my work among some of the great potters and prestigious Indian Markets and Arts and Crafts Shows. With helpful words of encouragement from my family and various artists, I continue my pursuit of making pottery with great enthusiasm.”