Peter Jones | Pottery
July 18–19, 2013, from 10:00 am–5:00 pm
The art of Pete Jones (Onondaga Nation, Beaver Clan) is transatlantic in its circulation and Iroquoian in its content. The expansive circulation is due to the popularity his work finds across cultures. In addition to his well-crafted clan animal “trade pots,” Jones uses clay to create 1- to 2-inch high sculptures of people, spirits, and other things that in his hands become charged with expressions of bittersweet ambivalence about contemporary realities, that range from outright tragedy to ironic comedy. The Iroquois content in his art comes from experience. Jones happens to live an Iroquois lifestyle: close to the land on the Seneca reservation of Cattaraugus, where he was born and has lived most of his life. Over time, both his technique and his thought have deepened. Throughout his career, his work has often carried with it a sense of humor, the edge of which has only gotten sharper.
He began working with clay at age of seven, encouraged by both his parents. He was sent to the Thomas Indian School at Cattaraugus, then the public school at Gowanda. At the age of fourteen, he enrolled at the then-fledgling Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was there that he received a classical education in ceramics. Ottellie Loloma exerted a strong influence on the young Jones. The great Hopi teacher taught him to respect the clay. After graduating from the IAIA in 1965, Jones spent a number of restless years at Alfred University (NY), Bacone College (OK), Montana, back in Santa Fe, and finally Andarko, Oklahoma, where he established a commercial Indian pottery studio. He moved back to Cattaraugus in 1977, and has lived there ever since.
About the Series: Fenimore Art Museum welcomes Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists to spend two days in the museum galleries and outdoors at our Native American Interpretive site Otsego: A Meeting Place. Artists teach and create unique artwork and crafts. Engaging conversations with these artists offer a delightful, insightful way to learn about traditional Native American art skills that have been handed down for generations.
Admission to the Native American Artisan Series is included with regular admission to the Fenimore Art Museum. Admission is free to NYSHA members. Become a member today!