Anita Suazo

Santa Clara
Sunflower geometric design carved into a red melon jar
 

Like her sisters, Mae Tapia and Anna Archuleta, Anita Suazo (b. 1937) learned the basics of the traditional form of her craft from their mother, Belen Tafoya Tapia. A first cousin of Margaret Tafoya, Belen was known for beautiful polychrome slipped, painted and carved redware and blackware. Anita's specialties include carved blackware, carved, slipped and painted polychrome redware, and melon pots. Often collaborating with her husband, Joseph Suazo, Anita made blackware and redware, polychrome redware, two-tone black on black carved pottery and black melon pots. She liked to carve some pots and paint others with avanyu, kiva step, cloud, feather and other designs passed down for a thousand years and more.

Anita first entered a piece in the juried competitions of the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market in 1979 and was consistently winning ribbons ever since from Indian Market, the Eight Northern Pueblo Artists and Craftsman Show and the New Mexico State Fair. She was a participant, along with Margaret Tafoya and 42 other Santa Clara potters, in a 1985 show at the Sid Deusch Gallery in New York. In 1986 she she earned the Jack Hoover Memorial Award for excellence in Santa Clara pottery. Pieces of her work can be seen at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.

Anita taught pottery classes at the University of California at Davis and at the University of New Mexico. She retired from making pottery around 2010.


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