American Indian
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Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo, born 1962),
Transformation , 2000
ceramic,
Museum purchase, 2000.26.a-n

Swentzell’s clay sculptures are reflections of the human spirit. She describes herself as a sculptor of emotions, and these are evident in Transformation. There are four women. Three are intently engaged in preparing themselves for the important ritual of the Corn Dance. One is very self-focused, pulling on her moccasins. Another assists her fellow dancer by reverentially placing a tableta on her head. The fourth stands completely transformed; she has become a Corn Maiden, as her ancestors became Corn Maidens for generations before, and as her daughters will for generations after. With her sculptures Swentzell shares her culture and declares a common humanity — she invites us to “Come, sit down, we aren’t that different, let me tell you something about us.”

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