Charles Collins Gallery

Featured Artist: Sandy Maestas

"I throw mugs and bowls, to buy clay, so I can create original clay objects"

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, at the age of 15, I came to Las Vegas, New Mexico to live with my maternal grandmother, Delfina Roybal. I've lived and worked as a potter/ artist in Taos, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Chimayo, Las Tusas, and now Vadito, New Mexico continuously over the last 37 years. My work includes wheel-thrown ware, slab work, hand-building, sculpture, tile murals/signs and other architectural embellishments and restorations, clay instruments, such as the du, and drawings. I apprenticed from 1978 through 1980, with master potters Charles Collins and Richard Piper at Ranchos de Taos Pottery in Taos, New Mexico. I learned all aspects of the stoneware clay process. We made our own cone 10 stoneware clay body and glazes, created wheel-thrown ware, and fired in a gas-fired arch kiln. Other benefactors in my ceramic studies, to whom I owe my gratitude, are Mata Ortiz, Mexico potter, el Maestro Juan Quezada, Taos potter Juanita DuBray, teacher/ master potter (Highlands University) Paul Volkening, and potter Dave Owen. Novenas Narrativas, a collaborative arts project funded by New Mexico Arts Division in the late 1980's, spearheaded by weaver Juanita Jaramillo-Lavadie and myself, is among numerous other earlier and more recent commissions, projects and exhibits. Novenas Narrativas, a nine act play used the artwork the five of us created. It traveled to underserved communities throughout New Mexico and southern Colorado and was funded by the then New Mexico Arts Division, now New Mexico Arts. In the years 1995, and 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 I worked as artistic director of the Barelas Neighborhood Tile Mural Project, funded by block grants, with teens and senior citizens, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We created most of the tile murals mounted on Garrett Smith Architecture firm-designed kiosks, along a nine city block area of 4' Street, from Coal Avenue to Avenida Cesar Chavez, the gateway from downtown Albuquerque, to the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The last four years of the project we worked at my studio, lusi Studio, in the North Valley in Albuquerque where I also gave adult 12 week classes and had a key program for advanced students. Beginning in 1996, lithographer Susan Marquez and I spearheaded Voices and Visions, an interdisciplinary project, pairing women artists with women writers. We all worked for two years creating our collaborative visions. In early 1998, Marquez and I curated two exhibits and readings, one at Guadalupe Fine Arts, Canon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico and the second one at Main Street Gallery, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I maintain a showroom in my home studio. and am currently represented by Loretto Chapel Sh Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Galeria Ortega in Chimayo, New Mexico.