Marla Allison, Consumed by Design

February 13, 2017

Marla at work in her studio

Allison at work in her studio, preparing for her solo show.

Here at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center we’re getting excited for our newest exhibit! Scheduled to open on February 25, “Consumed by Design” will feature new paintings by award-winning artist Marla Allison, who works out of her home studio in Laguna Pueblo.

Her inspiration for the show? The pottery of Laguna.

“Being a kid, pottery is always around,” Allison recently told us here at the IPCC. “You get it as gifts at dances, or they’re handed down from grandma to mom. In our house now we have this giant shelf that’s almost all by Laguna potters.”

A peek into Marla's sketchbook

A peek into Marla's sketchbook hints at her creative process as she works on a new canvas for the show.

As the 2010 recipient of the Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Woman’s Fellowship, she also had the opportunity to examine the Pueblo’s more ancient pottery firsthand at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe.

“They have an immense collection, and as an artist I got to hold the pots and feel them with my bare hands, which they don’t let most visitors do,” she says. “In that moment you can feel a connection—man, hundreds of years ago the artist held it the same way.”

In her latest series of paintings, which she developed in the months leading up to the show, Allison has reimagined the designs that Laguna potters have used to decorate their pottery for centuries, applying them to a new surface and adding a personal splash of color in the process.

“These artists have always understood that the pottery comes from within, not just from ourselves but from the earth. We’re all connected one way or another,” she explains. “They transferred this idea to clay, but I can transfer it to what I know, which is canvas. I feel very connected with that history in what I’m doing: I get to be that bridge to connect history to the contemporary.”

Come connect with Allison in person when “Consumed by Design” opens in the IPCC’s South Rotunda in late February. Everyone is invited to attend the opening reception as well as to return and explore the exhibit in the following months. But don’t wait too long—her work will only be on display through June, 2017!

“Consumed by Design” Exhibit Opening with Marla Allison
Saturday, February 25
2-5 pm
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104


Explore the new charmeuse silk scarves featuring designs from Marla's original paintings and see her featured artist page at shumakolowa.com >>




  1. Katie Richarme says

    Looking forward to seeing this exhibit!

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