Isabel Montoya-Atencio (1899-1996)
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Isabel M. Montoya Atencio was born at San Ildefonso Pueblo in 1898. By the age of 22, she was a recognized potter and painter. She excelled at the Santa Fe Indian School.
She was the granddaughter of Santana Peña and Antionio Domingo Peña; daughter of Nicolassa Peña Montoya and Juan Cruz Montoya.
Isabel and her husband Benjamin raised four children, the most famous of whom were Gilbert Atencio, who was considered one of the great painters of this century, and Helen Gutierrez, a potter living at Santa Clara Pueblo. The other two were Angelita Atencio Sanchez, and Pat Atencio.
According to biographer Jeanne Snodgrass, "During her school days in Santa Fe, Montoya executed charming pencil an crayon sketches." During Isabel's art classes at the Santa Fe Indian School, she demonstrated skill in pencil and crayon drawings. she went on to encourage the artistic talents of her children. Their outstanding achievements are a testimony to her special talents.
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