Sofia Medina

Roadrunner, rain, cloud and geometric design on a polychrome jar, by Sofia Medina

Sofia Medina was born to Andres Pino (1881-1947) and Juana Lupita Toribio Pino at Zia Pueblo in 1932. Sofia's grandmother, Rosalia Medina Toribio (ca. 1858-1950), was considered one of the best Zia potters of her time but it wasn't until after Sofia had married Rafael Medina in 1948 and moved into his grandmother's home that she began to learn to make pottery in earnest.

Rafael's grandmother was Trinidad Medina and she taught Sofia all the fundamentals she needed to become well-known for her fine, large traditional Zia ollas. Sofia also made smaller polychrome jars, dough bowls and chili bowls. Her favorite designs were rainbows, roadrunners, kiva steps and clouds.

Trinidad encouraged her to continue the family tradition and to pass it on to her children and grandchildren. Among Sofia's students were Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina, Lois Medina and Edna Medina Galiford.

Sofia was one of the exhibitors at the "One Space/Three Visions" exhibition in 1979 at the Albuquerque Museum. Her work can also be found in many private collections around the world and at the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the Peabody Museum at Harvard University in Boston.

Sofia passed in 2010, less than a year after being given a Lifetime Achievement Allan Houser Legacy Award during the SWAIA Honoring Reception at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino on June 4, 2009.

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