Museum to host Magic of Mexican Artistry

Mata Ortiz Master Potter Lydia Quezada Celado de Talavera, the youngest sister of Juan Quezada, will be a special guest at the “Magic of Mexican Artistry” event March 9-11. (Submitted photo)

The annual “Magic of Mexican Artistry” event is at Superstition Mountain Museum 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 9-11.

Event admission and parking are free at the museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail (State Route 88), northeast of Apache Junction.

“The days when Mexican folk arts equated with border-shop trinkets in people’s minds are long past,” Betty Swanson of the museum said in a release.

“Today, Mexican artisans occupy a place amongst some of the finest in the world,” she said.

“These individuals create unique pottery that is considered to be among the world’s best, weave beautiful tapestries utilizing traditional materials and natural dyes, meticulously carve and paint intricate wooden fantasy animals and fashion unique silver filigree jewelry,” Ms. Swanson said in the release.

Each of the three days, demonstrations of the hand-formed and hand-painted pottery being fired in pits will be performed on the museum grounds and the pots will then be auctioned off, according to the release.

Finished works will be on display and for sale.

One of Lydia Quezada’s pots. (Submitted photo)

Master Potter Lydia Quezada Celado de Talavera, from the village of Mata Ortiz in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, will be at the event.

She is the younger sister of Juan Quezada, who rediscovered and perfected the technique used to create Mata Ortiz pottery that is popular with collectors today, according to the release.

Lila Silveira, a student of Juan Quezada, will be returning this year.

Oaxacan wood carvers from Mexico have been famous for years for practicing the folk art tradition of carving detailed whimsical fantasy animals and painting them in patterns and bright colors.  Some of the most accomplished of these artists, Mario Castellanos and his wife, Reina, will be selling and demonstrating their work on site, according to the release.

Master weaver Porfirio Gutierrez of Oaxaca, Mexico, part of a Zapotec weaving family with generations of artisans before him, will also be returning, demonstrating his craft and explaining the benefits of weaving textiles in the traditional Zapotec way using natural dyes from insects, plants and minerals native to Mexico. He is also the lead-in lecturer to the event at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 8.

Intricate silver filigree jewelry, designed and handmade by Yesenia Salgado, and “Mata Ortiz to You” will be back with pottery shard and silver jewelry.

For more information, go to or call 480-983-4888.

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