Pojoaque Resort To Feature Indian Artwork
You could call it Pueblo Dancer Descending a Staircase.
With apologies to Marcel Duchamp, the massive stained glass work glows beside the grand staircase of the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque. Slated to open Aug. 12, the 390-room complex houses nearly 200 pieces of pottery, paintings, sculptures, rugs, tapestries and carvings by American Indian artists from every New Mexico pueblo and tribe.
Pojoaque Gov. George Riveras Poeh Museum office spills over with artwork commissioned or inspired by the $245 million complex, which sprawls across 66,000 square feet of meeting and convention space an Indianmeets-Vegas style casino, spa and restaurants.
Its over $1 million just for the art objects, Rivera said.
Star Santa Clara ceramist Roxanne Swentzell contributed a nearly 2-foot-tall pot circled by Koshare clowns engaging in various games of chance, including cards and dice, which are no larger than a match head.
Acoma Pueblos Joseph Cerno made a massive black and white pot emblazoned with a buffalo. Serrated lines framing the animal symbolize the vibrations of its hooves pounding the earth, Rivera said. A pot by Cochitis Diego Romero strikes a socially conscious note with images of a New Mexico landscape scarred by cars and factories, complete with archaeological ruins scattered beneath the soil.
All of the pottery will be encased in a pottery wall in the resort lobby.
I think by collaborating and giving them a place to go into, were challenging the artists a little bit, Rivera said. When Diego Romero came in and saw (the larger works), he went back and started making bigger pots. So the stakes have been raised.
This years Santa Fe Indian Market poster artist Mateo Romero contributed about half a dozen paintings. Contemporary Navajo painter Tony Abeyta produced an abstraction composed of mica, bone and turquoise nuggets on plaster board.
Some original works bleed into the resorts interior decor. The browns and creams of a turn-of-the-century checkerboard Navajo weaving emerge in the carpeting. Other textiles include a red, circa 1910-1913 Third Phase Chiefs Revival blanket. Many of the paintings will be duplicated in the hotel rooms. Light fixtures swell into oversized Hopi and Apache baskets. Petroglyph cutouts carve the ceilings.
A recognized artist in his own right, Rivera contributed a 10-foot-tall bronze deer dancer and a 12-foot-high buffalo.
Inside the retail-and-restaurant rich promenade, collectors can browse Indian Market 365 days a year. The resort has contracted with the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts to create a SWAIA-sponsored gallery.
Well probably have four shows here a year, Rivera said. Theyll be able to get on a computer and contact any artist they want.
The resort itself will serve as its own museum, offering visitors some of the best of American Indian art and culture, Rivera said. Our focus is that Buffalo Thunder isnt just a destination resort that we took as a cookie cutter from someplace else.
Rivera planted the seed that became the glass showpiece by showing artist Rose Simpson (Swentzells daughter ) a rendering of the Duchamp original.
The artists 10-by-20-foot glass panel riffs on the Dada godfathers Nude Descending a Staircase with a decidedly pueblo theme, complete with broken plane geometry. Crowned with a traditional blue tablita, the figure carries a sprig of evergreen.
I always loved the movement (of the original), so I said, Lets do it pueblo style, Rivera said.