Visiting the New Mexico art of Roxanne Swentzell

Roxanne Swentzell, SculptorRoxanne Swentzell is a talented, internationally known ceramist and sculptor. From her Tower Gallery at the Pojoaque Visitor’s Center just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico she creates marvelous works of art that may find homes in museums or in private collections. She is known for her rounded figures of indigenous people, primarily women. She has recently been honored with the “Native Treasures Living Treasure Award.” Visitors can see her work at the Santa Fe Convention Center, at her Tower Gallery and at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Santa Fe Convention Center Sculpture
When I first visited Roxanne at her Tower Gallery, she was working on a massive clay sculpture commissioned by the newly opened Convention Center in Santa Fe. I had the pleasure of talking with both Roxanne and her mother as Roxanne, in her earthy style, sat on the floor working the clay. Soon it was difficult to determine where the clay ended and Roxanne’s beautiful earth toned skin began.

The sculpture of inter-connected human forms was designed to illustrate the cultures and generations of northern New Mexico.  In typical Roxanne Swentzell manner, the figures were earthy and rounded. It was a massive undertaking and I knew that she would be very glad when it was installed in Santa Fe and she could take a breather and spend more time with her family and home on the land.

The sculpture has been installed on the two story high wall in the Convention Center lobby. When you enter, just look up to admire this beautiful piece.Roxanne Swentzell, Sculptor

About Roxanne Swentzell
Roxanne Swentzell is a unique woman.  She was born to a Pueblo Indian mother and a German father and thus she began life with unique gifts and challenges. Her mother provided her with the wisdom of the Pueblo woman, constantly seeking balance in concert with the rhythms of the earth.  From her mother she learned how to make pots and from her father, a college professor, she learned about European masters.  She also learned about how to approach life with strength, courage and creativity. Roxanne has traveled extensively but appears much more at home on the lands of her mother’s people. Recently, at the Santa Fe Indian Market, I found Roxanne admiring a stand of corn the city had in a street planter. It was beautiful corn… some red, some yellow. Roxanne, again, was drawn to the fruits of the earth even when actively tending her booth.

Roxanne Swentzell, SculptureNative Treasures Honors Roxanne Swentzell
As has been the tradition for the last several years, Native Treasures will honor an established master with its “Native Treasures Living Treasure Award.”  This year’s recipient is Roxanne Swentzell.  Roxanne’s distinctive sculptures grace a variety of venues from Cartier in Paris to the Santa Fe Convention Center.  Her clay and bronze sculptures represent the complete spectrum of the human spirit with its range of emotions.

Attend the Native Treasures Show in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Held on Memorial Day weekend,  indoors at the Santa Fe Convention Center you can visit with more than 200 museum-quality artists from over 40 tribes and pueblos . You’ll be able to talk with the artists and buy their pottery, jewelry, glass, painting, sculpture, carvings, textiles and other art. More on Native Treasures.

Visit the Tower Gallery
Visitors are welcome at the Tower Gallery and Studio in Pojoaque, north of Santa Fe. You can see some of Roxanne’s masks, small bronzes and works in progress. If you are lucky you will be able to see Roxanne and, since her family staffs the gallery, you may have the pleasure of meeting her mother as we did.

While you are there, look at the gallery and enjoy the architecture and beauty of the building. It was Roxanne’s talented family who finished the structure which is a fitting showcase for Roxanne Swentzell’s works of art.Roxanne Swentzell, Mask

Be sure and view the short video of Roxanne’s life and works. It is inspiring and will help you understand her work and, moreover, her life.

Address: Tower Gallery, 78 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque, New Mexico
Usual  Hours: Winter – Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm

More Information
Roxanne Swentzell Website
Native Treasures Website
Poeh Center

Photography: Elizabeth R. Rose


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