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Wilfred Garcia
ACOMA POTTER

WILFRED GARCIA might best be described as a man not satisfied with the easy, the usual, or the expected. In all aspects of his life, he challenges himself to do more and do it better.

Wilfred has donated years of his life to tribal responsibilities—obligations he welcomes as a devoted member of his pueblo. As a police officer, he goes beyond the inherent risks of that job to place himself in very real danger investigating special crimes.

Perhaps nowhere are the demands Wilfred places on himself more apparent than within his pottery creations, what he calls Mesa Verde pots. These smooth, round vessels finish with stair stepp openings with ladders, resembling the cliff dwelling kivas of the Acoma ancestors, the Anasazi.

“I basically taught myself. I actually began as a painter, but was inspired by my mother-in-law, Stella Shutiva, to try pottery. She told me my hands were meant to work with clay, not oils and acrylics.

“I have grown up in a culture full of traditions and moral values, including respect for your elders. Through my experiences, I have learned a great deal about life and its nature to respect all living things. My art is a direct reflection of my culture and my beliefs.”

Just as Wilfred's pottery balances the old and the new, his life is a balancing act between artist, family man, and police officer. “I try to keep the balance between the love of my art and the anticipation of being out on the field.”

What brings Wilfred satisfaction is the knowledge he has made people happy and has pleased those who inspired him to pursue pottery. “My art plays an important role in how I feel about life. I enjoy making people happy.”

Wilfred's creations have won numerous awards, including Best Artist in Contemporary Pottery, Best of Show at NM State Fair, and recognition at Eight Northern Pueblo Arts and Crafts Show. At the prestigious Indian Market, he has won Best in Category. His work is featured in books and collected worldwide.

“I am my worst critic. I am a perfectionist and I want to give my customers the best I can create.”