Dating from pre-contact to the present day, the featured pots connect and contrast the lives of Puebloans in communities spanning from New Mexico’s 19 Río Grande Pueblos to the West Texas community of Ysleta del Sur to the Hopi tribe of Arizona. Curators of diverse ages, backgrounds, and professions selected and wrote about one or more works, demonstrating their intimacy with pottery at home and in the greater Pueblo world.

Unlike exhibitions guided by Eurocentric timelines and Western concepts of art and history, Grounded in Clay’s focus on personal and community meaning emerges as a conversation expressed in prose, poetry, and the visual language of pottery. The curators’ firsthand knowledge of pots and potters, family rituals, traditional materials, and daily use grounds viewers in a powerful sense of people and place. At the same time, a thread of ancestral memory connects individual pots to the pride, pain, and living legacy of Pueblo peoples.