Otellie Loloma (1922-1993) - Sequafnehma

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Otellie Pasiyava Loloma, Hopi Pueblo. Otellie devoted her life to creative artistic pursuits and the passing of Hopi and American Indian traditions through her hundreds of students. She recognized pottery as an ancient tradition. Otellie worked faithfully in clay, while teaching Hopi values and traditional techniques. She was loved by her students and many who collected her artworks.

Otellie worked for over three decades, studying the fine points of ancient pottery making techniques. She also was an innovator exploring the techniques of Asian, European and other cultures. She taught these techniques for handmade pottery and ceramic, while developing and sharing what she learned.

Otellie was the wife of Charles Loloma, the most famous Hopi jeweler. She influenced his experimentation in ceramics. The both served together as teachers at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In this rich, artistic community, the Lolomas met artists from across the country and around the world.

Otellie's influence is widely-known in the work of her students: Pete Jones, Jacquie Stevens, Robert Tenorio, Manuelita Lovato, Preston Duwyenie and Tony Abeyta. She expressed her philosophy of teaching: "When I teach which is so important to me and my own clay work, I try to instill belief in my students whether Indian or non-Indian. When that belief is alive, their work is alive. This belief and aliveness gives the student their strength in what they do in any art form or life work. This belief and aliveness is what makes me the artist I am...it is what I am all about".


Reference: Hopi-Tewa Pottery: 500 Artist Biographies [1st ED/1st Print:] by Gregory Schaaf.


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