Loloma, Otellie – Jar with Women Faces and Fetishes (1965)
This is an extraordinary and unique jar by Otellie Pasiyava Loloma (1921-1993). So, who is Otellie? She was from Second Mesa at Hopi. She married Charles Loloma in 1942 and began studying ceramics in 1947. In 1959 Otellie Loloma became one of the first instructors for the Southwestern Indian Art Project at the University of Arizona at Tucson. That project led in 1962 to the establishment of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, where Loloma was again one of the first faculty members hired. She instructed students in ceramics. Otellie told fellow artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, “No one Hopi would probably recognize that they are Hopi figures because I have done it all from my own imagination.” At IAIA she taught numerous present-day potters, including Preston Duwyenie, Jacquie Stevens, Dan Namingha, Robert Tenorio and Christine McHorse! She is certainly an artist who had an extraordinary impact on the world of contemporary Native pottery!
This large jar is incised with women’s faces around the side. Each one seems to meld into the next in a Picasso-esque style. The rim has stone fetishes tied to it. The jar was made in 1965 and has two ribbons, including an “Honorable Mention’ from the 1965 Scottsdale National and “Special Award” from the 1965 Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials. Considering how most of the pottery created in the 1960’s was very traditional, this jar would defintley have stood out! Consider as well, that it was NOT until 1968 that Tony Da created his first sgraffito pottery and entered it at Gallup Ceremonials. The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Otellie Loloma”.
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