Joyce Ortiz is a daughter of Seferina & Guadalupe Ortiz and the oldest sister of Virgil, Janice and Inez Ortiz. She is also the mother of Dominick Ortiz. She learned to make pottery from her mother and says, “I can still hear Mom’s words “you’ll never know until you take the clay in your hands”” and it is the unknown of where the clay will take the potter which is always the surprise! Her pottery is traditionally fired and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant (black). Joyce has won awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and continues to encourage her children and grandchildren to try and work with pottery and continue this amazing Pueblo tradition.
Ortiz, Dominick (b. 1994)
Dominick Ortiz is a grandson of Seferina & Guadalupe Ortiz and the son of Joyce Ortiz. He learned to make pottery from his grandmother and his uncle, Virgil Ortiz. He says of his pottery, “My uncle says to try making new styles as they will become traditional down the road. I want to create pieces which are my own so they will be recognized as my very own trademark. People will know exactly who made them”. Each piece is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach (black) and traditionally fired. Dominick has won awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and was included in the “neXt Gen” article in Native Peoples Magazine. We certainly expect to see more from this young artist!
Ortiz, Guadalupe (1929-2015)
Guadalupe Ortiz was the husband of noted potter Seferina Ortiz and the father of Virgil, Joyce, Janice, and Inez Ortiz. He learned to make pottery from Seferina and only began making pottery in 1998. His few frogs and figurative work remain a charming part of Cochiti pottery history.
Ortiz, Inez (1960-2008)
Inez Ortiz learned to make pottery from her mother, Seferina Ortiz and her grandmother Laurencita Herrera. Inez was also the mother of noted potter Lisa Holt. She is best known for her figurative pottery, which is all coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant (black). Inez won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.
Janice Ortiz is a daughter of Seferina and Guadalupe Ortiz and the sister of Inez, Joyce and Virgil Ortiz. Janice is known for her figurative pottery, especially her directional figures. She has won numerous awards for her pottery at Santa Fe Indian Market. She continues to use traditional clay and firing techniques on her pottery.
Kyle Ortiz is a grandson of Seferina & Guadalupe Ortiz and the son of Jacquelyn Ortiz. He learned to make pottery from his uncle, Virgil Ortiz. Each piece is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach (black) and traditionally fired. He says of learning to make pottery, “The entire family would go together to gather the clay. When I was younger my Grandmother encouraged me to make pottery. I made a few pieces here and there but never really stuck with it. With my first figures by Uncle coached me. I was happy with how they turned out. Being part of this amazing and talented family has been my motivation and inspiration to create pottery and other forms of artwork.”
Ortiz, Seferina (1931-2007)
Seferina Ortiz is certainly one of the great matriarchs of Cochiti Pueblo. She learned to make pottery from her mother, Laurencita Herrera. She is also the matriarch of a family of innovator potters including Virgil Ortiz, Janice Ortiz, and Lisa Holt. Seferina created traditional style Cochiti pottery figures and vessels. Seferina won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.
Ortiz, Virgil (b.1969)
Virgil Ortiz is one of the most innovative potters working today. He is a son of noted potter Seferina Ortiz and grandson of Laurencita Herrera. His sisters Janice, Inez, and Joyce are also potters and his niece, Lisa Holt. He encourages his nieces and nephews also to continue making traditional pottery. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibits nationwide, and he is also known for his fashion designs. He has won multiple awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Indian Market, and other events. His pottery can be found in museums worldwide.
“The thought has never crossed my mind to be anything other than an artist and fashion designer. Art is in my blood”, says Virgil Ortiz, a Cochiti Pueblo Native. Sought by celebrities, royalty, and collectors, American Indian artist Virgil Ortiz artworks move into a new era combining art, décor, fashion, video, and film. Hailing from a family of celebrated Pueblo potters. From the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, and Denver Art Museum, to the Hertogenbosch Museum in The Netherlands, and Foundation, and Cartier’s Paris, France. Virgil Ortiz’s exquisite clay works are exhibited worldwide.
Born in 1969, the youngest of six children, Ortiz grew up in a creative environment. Storytelling, collecting clay, gathering wild plants, and producing figurative pottery was part of everyday life. His grandmother Laurencita Herrera and his mother, Seferina Ortiz, were both renowned Pueblo potters. “I didn’t even know it was art that was being produced while I was growing up,” he remembers. Virgil Ortiz, who works and lives in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, has worked very hard and has had a few lucky breaks. His efforts have propelled him to a preeminent place among contemporary Native artists.
After a highly successful collaboration with fashion mogul Donna Karan, he developed boldly patterned textiles based on his graphic decorative painting. Ortiz launched his fashion line. His designs are captivating, provocative, and edgy, thus creating a high demand. His sharp laser-cut leather jackets, swinging taffeta skirts, cashmere sweaters, and silk scarves echo the Pueblo pottery’s voluminous contours and sinuous motifs. He showcases the richness of indigenous, high fashion, and compelling storytelling of Pueblo culture and history. Virgil Ortiz debut Colorblind, his all-new T-shirt collection blending art, vibrant colors, and graphic images. Each of which portrays his interpretation of the historic Pueblo Revolt of 1680 – the First American Revolution. “I want to pay tribute to our great leader Po’pay and ancestors that lived and walked on our lands, and respect that their spirit will live on through me.”
Creating a global awareness of Pueblo culture is reflected in the design components that reach past a traditional Ortiz sculpture. His art form delves into an untapped age of décor elements that honor a prosperous civilization with skill and vision. Ortiz also designed ‘Indigenous Imprints’®, a carpet collection designed exclusively for Aqua Hospitality Carpets. This collection consists of twenty unique patterns. His design concepts are a fascinating balance between contemporary and traditional for guest rooms, corridors, and public spaces in some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts worldwide. ‘Indigenous Imprint’s® is a natural progression toward leading-edge furnishings and adornment that capture the elegance and spirit of Ortiz’s inspiration.
Beyond the notoriety of his artistic talent, Ortiz’s professional agenda centers on a lifelong dream to create opportunities for children in his tribal community that reflects his ancestors’ legacy. “It’s important to recognize that Pueblo communities are very much alive. They have a vitality level that speaks to generations of strength, persistence, brilliance, and thriving energy. I have something vital to do before I go. I want to preserve my culture and inspire our youth to accomplish whatever it is they dream of being.” – Virgil Ortiz