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Exhibit Continues Despite Recent Thefts: Museum of Man Displays Handmade Mexican Pottery

Although mass production has changed the way businesses make their products, there are some who have managed to rekindle a passion for handmade artistry and make money too.

The San Diego Museum of Man, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Mexico, recently opened an exhibit showcasing about 300 pottery pieces by several artists despite the recent theft of 11 pieces. The “Magic of Mata Ortiz” exhibit will be open through Jan. 14, 2000.

The exhibit will focus mostly on the work by Juan Quezada, a self-taught artist from Mata Ortiz, Mexico, and the relatives he taught. The pottery will range from pieces done in a 600-year-old polychrome-style of ancestral Mexican Indians to those made without a potter’s wheel.

Quezada revived the pottery-making technique and now teaches it to relatives and villagers. Today, nearly 400 of the 2,000 village residents derive most of their income from ceramics they make.

Works by Maria Martinez of New Mexico and Nampeyo, a Hopi woman from Arizona, also will be featured in the exhibit.

The stolen pieces were from the Nampeyo collection. Anyone with information about the theft should call (619) 525-8400.

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