Kathleen Wall - Jemez
“When I create in Native clay I feel a very strong connection to my heritage. Like so many Pueblo potters working today, I feel as though I’m fulfilling my grandmother’s legacy passing on the knowledge of Pueblo pottery. The beauty of Native culture in and around my life gives me inspiration to create art. This inspiration is expressed by Native figures sculpted in clay that have a joyous quality in their faces.
My personal relationship with my art work starts with the intent of creating a full-circle cultural experience. I embrace the heritage of the people around me and absorb the knowledge that they have to offer. It begins with an emotional response, then a thought, which then becomes my finished piece, expressed through my eyes and hands. That very personal experience is passed on to others.”
Throughout her formative years, Kathleen Wall considered Pueblo Pottery a basic ingredient in her life. As a young woman she looked on as her grandparents, mother and aunts all made pueblo pottery, and Kathleen followed in their footsteps.
A teenager with strong ambition, Wall tried selling her pottery for money with favorable results. While Kathleen began her artistic journey making storytellers, she knew all along in her heart that she was destined to transcend the traditional art that she was taught. During her late teens, Wall’s works began to take on more figurative qualities. The artist contends that she was “a young girl in the midst of something I had a passion for.” The combination of studies in her chosen discipline and having the opportunity to attend professional art shows opened her eyes to the diverse creativity of contemporary Native art. Upon graduating from IAIA, Wall submitted her first application to the SWAIA Indian Market. The excitement of being accepted was compounded by the fact that she, to her astonishment and delight, also received her first blue ribbon.
“My work has been influenced by many Native cultures and different art mediums. Mixing Native clays with other materials has become a part of my installation work. By incorporating technology with tradition I feel as though I’m bringing two worlds together. I honor my people’s past by acknowledging Native people as they were and are today.”