Our popular Pueblo Pottery Series continues with Gabriel Paloma (Zuni). Pueblo Pottery demos take place in the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Buchsbaum Pottery Gallery. Don’t forget Wednesdays are free for seniors! Read below for more information on Mr. Paloma.
Gabriel Paloma was born in Zuni, NM back in 1966. Having grown up on the Zuni reservation close to the area known as the “Halona:we (Middle Place)” throughout his life, Gabriel has always been fascinated by images and how the Zuni World is represented now and back in time through the eyes of his elders. Naturally, he was drawn into automotive but the interest in clay was cultivated during his teenage years when he took art and pottery classes in high school.
After completing his high school journey and graduated, Gabriel went to UNM Albuquerque to take college courses. The university was a huge setting and Gabriel took on the advantage of being close to home and headed back to the reservation to enroll at UNM Gallup to further his art education.
Gabriel is drawn into practice of studying old Zuni pottery and its designs which is fascinating to see how the A: shiwi people endured this art since in time memorial. This ancient art is a collaboration between the artist and the native land of how the earthly materials are utilized to produce his pottery today. Gabriel cherishes this connection with nature and who taught him how to create pottery. He feels that the artistic talent is exchange between mother earth and the artist opens up many opportunities.
Currently, Gabriel is a pottery teacher at Zuni High School specializing in the Fine Arts Department. He teaches 15-18 year-olds in pottery and ceramics to help them nurture the same enthusiasm that he had when he took art classes. He is also teaching at an alternative high school in Zuni to pursue the same ecstatic love of pottery making with young adults.
Gabriel was introduced to his first ever West Valley Native American Arts Festival as a professional potter at Litchfield Park in Phoenix, AZ. (1998) and in 2004 he was selected as one of the SWAIA FELLOWSHIP AWARD artist in Santa Fe, NM. In 2018, he has been earning recognition and still building customer cliental at the same time improving on his elaborate Zuni style pottery.