the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Joseph Lonewolf

Santa Clara Pueblo

2009 recipient, Pottery

Santa Clara Pueblo potter Joseph Lonewolf is widely credited with advancing the art of modern pottery beyond traditional boundaries. Lonewolf learned traditional pottery from his mother, Agapita Silva, and his father, Camilio Sunflower Tafoya. In the 1970s, he introduced intricate etched designs onto the stone polished surfaces of his pottery and, since those beginnings, Lonewolf’s creations have been called "pottery jewels" because of their delicate, flawless detail and fragile, cameo-like appearance.

Among Lonewolf’s innovations in pottery-making are highly detailed sgraffito, new and unique natural clay color slip and bas relief. His nominators say that Lonewolf’s bas reliefs are "so fine as to be almost photo realistic."

"Through his talent, Joseph Lonewolf has been instrumental in perpetuating the art and history of his culture," said Wayne Bobrick, owner of Wright’s Indian Art in Albuquerque. "The international success and admiration for his pottery has brought the attention of the world to New Mexico and its special status in the art world."