de la Cruz, Juan and Lois Gutierrez – “Hummingbird Story” Long Neck Jar
This is a long neck water jar by Juan de la Cruz. He is known for his painted polychrome pottery. Juan is a son of noted potter Lois Gutierrez. Lois made the jar and Juan, who is noted for his illustrations, painted the design using natural clay slips. The jar has a round body and an elongated neck. The jar has a hummingbird on the neck and the “Great Mother” on the other side. Separating them are very tightly painted designs and flowers below the shoulder. He wrote of the piece:
“During the time of drought, the great mother told hummingbird of a place within the mountains where she coudl find nectar. Althoguh hummingbird was warned not to tell anyone else from where she drew her sustenance.”
The jar was traditionally fired and it is a true polychrome (more than three colors of clay). It is signed on the bottom. It is accompanied by a watercolor painting with the description on the back. While Juan is new to the pottery world, he recently won “Best of Pottery” at Gallup Ceremonials in 2017 and again in 2019. He has been featured in articles in Cowboys & Indians Magazine and Native Art Magazine in 2018 and most recently was the subject of an article in Native Art Magazine (Fall/Winter 2019).