2017 Featured Artist: Jody Naranjo

Every year, Native Treasures designates an artist as the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Living Treasure.  This year, we are pleased to designate Santa Clara pueblo potter Jody Naranjo as the 2017 Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Living Treasure and the Featured Artist for the 2017 Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival.

The MIAC Living Treasure award is given in recognition of artistic excellence and community service.  The award recognizes their bodies of work to date and their exciting futures.

Jody Naranjo is an eighth-generation Pueblo potter and a member of the well-known Naranjo family of Santa Fe Clara Pueblo. A dynastic family of artists, the Naranjo family is highly esteemed for their clay arts. Naranjo learned the craft of pottery from her mother and other female relatives at an early age and was selling her artwork at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors by the time she reached fifteen. Educated at the Institute of American Indian Arts, she uses traditional methods to make her pottery—digging the clay from pueblo lands, processing the raw clay, coiling, and pit firing her pieces.

Images of women, which she calls “pueblo girls” and animals, are common themes in her artworks, something that she considers playful and experimental. She recently said that always having one of her children by her side while working has inspired her stylized designs. Naranjo’s work is also notable for its different color clays and the addition of acrylic colors.

MIAC will feature an exhibition of Jody Naranjo’s work entitled Jody Naranjo: Revealing Joywhich will open to the public on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The exhibition will include Naranjo’s work from the MIAC collection as well as loans from other institutions.

The honoring ceremony for Jody Naranjo will take place at the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival Pre-Show Celebration on Friday, May 26, from 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. 

Each year, the award for the Living Treasure artist is an original piece of art made and presented by the previous year’s Living Treasure honoree. Last year’s award recipient was Dan Namingha.

Watch Jody Naranjo speak about her process below:

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