Saturday, June 25, 2005

Collaborative Indian Market Piece "Inspires Generations"



Santa Fe, NM--A very unusual item will be part of the Santa Fe Indian Market celebration this year. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) will be raffling off a 48” side-by-side Viking gourmet refrigerator that has been designed and hand-painted by acclaimed Acoma potters, Maria Lilly Salvador, her sister Wanda Aragon, and Wanda’s daughter, Clarice. It will be unveiled at the Southwest Design Conference at the Sweeney Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM on Friday, June 24 (10am - 5pm) thanks to the generosity of Western Interiors & Design Magazine.

“We were delighted to give SWAIA exposure at the conference,” said Carol Decker, CEO of Western Interiors & Design Magazine. “The refrigerator is a stunning piece of design—people will be blown away by it—and we love to support the Santa Fe Indian Market.”

The refrigerator evolved from SWAIA thinking of new and fun items that could be part of the auction gala this year. David Cloutier, Executive Director of SWAIA said, “The people at Viking Range Corp., SunWest Appliance Distributing and Showcase Appliance Center of Santa Fe were kind enough to donate this very high-end refrigerator. As we thought about which artists we should approach to design it, we thought about the origins of Native American pottery as a food storage device. Since the refrigerator is the ultimate evolution of that idea, we thought it would be wonderful to have potters work on this piece.”

Enter Maria “Lilly” Salvador and Wanda Aragon. SWAIA wanted Acoma potters in particular noting that Acoma designs could translate well to such a large piece. “We approached Lilly and Wanda because we loved their work,” said Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, SWAIA Gala Chairperson. “They really embraced the project as something that would be fun and a challenge for them.”

What SWAIA did not anticipate was the tie-in this project would have with the theme of the gala this year—“Inspiring Generations.” There are several collaborative pieces being offered in the auction that represent multiple generations of some of Native America’s leading artistic families. Lilly and Wanda are sisters and they looked to some of their late mother’s designs that she had passed down to them for inspiration on this project. From the traditional Acoma parrot design on the right hand door to the more abstract black & white rain symbols on the left hand door, Frances Torivio’s legacy sparked their creativity. The sisters also spoke about how this project brought them closer together. “We don’t get to see each other that often,” explained Wanda who lives in Albuquerque (Lilly lives in Acoma). “We had so much fun spending all of that time together working on this and just talking and catching up. It really made us closer.” A third generation of the family became involved, too. Wanda’s daughter, Clarice Aragon, designed and painted the stunning zig-zag border around both doors.

The spectacular finished piece is not just for the kitchen. The panels (generously donated by Wolfswinkel Enterprises Custom Woodworking) are detachable from the refrigerator, so the custom made artwork can be preserved long after the refrigerator is gone.

Raffle tickets will be sold in front of the refrigerator at the Southwest Design Conference from 10am-5pm, June 24-26th, throughout the summer at the SWAIA offices and at select SWAIA events. Only 300 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. The estimated value of the refrigerator and the artwork is $17,000. The winner will be drawn at the Santa Fe Indian Market Auction Gala on the evening of August 20th at La Fonda Hotel (one does not have to be present at the gala to win). To purchase a raffle ticket, or for more information please call SWAIA at 505-983-522 0. To preview the piece online, please visit SWAIA's website under "Current News" at



lizziewriter said...

Even looking at the linked picture I can't imagine what this piece must be like in real. I bet it will end up in a magazine-worthy kitchen too. Thanks for pointing it out! Lizzie

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