de la Cruz, Juan and Lois Gutierrez – “The Valiant and Cunning Roadrunner” Jar
Juan Cruz creates complex painted polychrome pottery. He 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 realistic roadrunner on one side Note the precision of the lines and how he painted the feathers. The opposite side has a stylized roadrunner and rattlesnake. Juan wrote of the scene he painted as follows:
“Roadrunner proves himself cunning and valiant in the ways of war. Cunning in the way he obscures his direction of travel by his tracks. Valiant in his ability to take on an defeat the rattlesnake.”
The jar is truly polychrome (more than three colors of clay). Note the intricacy and detail in the various designs. Below the shoulder are roadrunner feathers extending downward. 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.