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On Fire! The Nancy and Alan Cameros Collection of Southwestern Pottery on View at The Rockwell Museum

April 24, 2014

CORNING, NY- On Fire!, a new exhibit at The Rockwell Museum, in Corning, NY, is the result of a decade-long partnership between the Corning, NY, Museum and collectors Nancy and Alan Cameros of Rochester, NY. This exhibit features nearly 100 pieces of Native American contemporary pottery, collected by the Cameroses over the last several decades and generously leant to the Museum to exhibit. Visitors can use Interactive touch screens to learn more about the history, craftsmanship, and artistry of these vessels.

On Fire!” is a testament to the important relationship between collectors and Museums. It allows The Rockwell to showcase an impressive collection of southwestern pottery, while it gives the collectors an opportunity to engage the community with the collection he and his wife so lovingly acquired.

The exhibit prominently features two joint purchases made by the Cameros and The Rockwell. The first piece, Long Neck Jar with Carved Avanyu created by Margaret Tafoya, is traditional in its form but innovative in its large size and deeply carved design. The second piece, Set of 20 Miniature Graduated Sgraffito Pots by Joseph Lonewolf, is one of only three complete intact sets of miniature pots produced by the master of miniature pottery.

The exhibit features historic works by Maria Martinez and other famous matriarchs of pottery. Blending the past with the present, the exhibit also features works by some of the most talented Indian artists working in the southwest today. The vessels exhibited were born of Native earth, crafted in fire, and displayed for both their historic importance as well as their artistic beauty.

The display is held together by three major themes. The first theme, The Great Mothers, looks at the rebirth of Native pottery in the southwest. This theme is inspired by the revitalization of the 2,000 year old tradition started by the three matriarchs of southwestern pottery Nampeyo of Hano, Maria Martinez, and Sara Fina Tafoya. The second theme, Keepers of Tradition, details those potters whose works are informed by those who have come before. These pots tend to use centuries-old techniques, materials, and designs in the pursuit of beauty, balance, and unity of design. Family lineage ties these potters to traditions set forth by earlier generations. The third theme, Artists Without Reservation, explores those artist who build on tradition but are not bound by it. Some of the more daring pieces challenge the very definition of pottery as a vessel made to carry water, grain, or other necessities. These pieces are created more for the visual enjoyment of the viewer. This class of potter has more in common with fine artists than craftspeople. Even though there are differences it is the ties to the 2,000 year old tradition of creating these objects that makes these pieces so intriguing.
About The Rockwell Museum

The Rockwell Museum collection tells the story of the American experience through a display of stunning art. The diverse collection includes a mix of contemporary Native American art with traditional bronze sculptures, landscape paintings and other works that embody America. Housed in the beautifully restored 19th century Old City Hall building, The Rockwell is active in the local community and holds special events and educational programming with area public schools. Proceeds generated from these events support the more than 5,000 students who enter the doors each year for a special Museum experience.

The Museum is open to the public seven days a week; hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Membership to the Museum includes yearlong free admission. For more information, please visit us online at www.rockwellmuseum.org.

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