Diego Romero (born 1964 in Berkley, CA; lives in Cochiti Pueblo, NM) understands duality. His father is a Cochiti Pueblo Indian and his mother is Anglo. He first studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe; then with Ralph Becerra at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and Adrian Saxe at the University of California. At UCLA he was making Native pots with Anasazi decoration painted in gold. He felt he was taking a brave step by doing traditional designs in gold, something that was unheard of in Native Pottery, but Saxe informed him that unless he did something more adventurous he would be denied his Master’s degree. It was at this point that Romero began to paint his pots with images drawn from ancient Greek vessels and other cultures whose heroes and values matched those of the Native American. He is one of a handful of potters, the so-called Free Spirit potters, whose work takes on pueblo reality instead of the sentimentalized revival ware that dominates the Native art market. These communities face unemployment, poverty, rising numbers of single parent families, alienation of their youth, difficulty in sustaining their religion and traditions, AIDS, rampant alcoholism, and the highest incidence of diabetes in America.
For inquiries, please contact Mark Del Vecchio, Program Director of Ceramics & Design, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505)-954-5800