January 30, 2017
Over the decades in which she’s worked as a potter, Patricia Lowden has earned a reputation for her beautiful Ancestral Pueblo (formally referred to as Anasazi) revival black-on-white and traditional pots. Lowden was also one of five Pueblo potters who honored the Starbucks at Avanyu Plaza upon its grand opening in 2015 by crafting a custom “Starbucks-style” clay mug. The one-of-a-kind piece is on permanent display in the cafe for visitors to enjoy, alongside four others by artists Robin Teller (Isleta), Erik Fender (San Ildefonso), Elizabeth Medina (Zia), and Frederica Antonio (Acoma).
On December 21, Lowden helped us celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Starbucks at Avanyu Plaza by meeting with fans and signing their mugs—she even brought homemade cookies to share!
This is part of our Meet the Artists Behind the Cups series talking with all five of the potters who crafted clay Starbucks mugs. Check out all five posts!
January 2, 2017: Robin Teller’s Isleta Pottery
January 9, 2017: Erik Fender’ San Ildefonso Pottery
January 16, 2017: Elizabeth Medina’s Zia Pottery
January 23, 2017: Frederica Antonio’s Acoma Pottery
January 30, 2017: Patricia Lowden’s Acoma Pottery
Thank you for taking the time to meet with all your fans this way! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Acoma Pueblo; my clans are Big Sun and Eagle, and my Keres name is Guuhmahdyizah, which means purple flower.
And when did your learn the art of pottery?
I’m a fourth generation potter. My mother Anita and my stepmother Elvina Lowden have each been a big influence in my life. At the age of fifteen, I began to paint and make pottery with my grandmother, Andrea Lowden, and my great-grandmother, Lupe Chavez.
How have you taken what they taught you and developed your own style as an artist?
As I got older I began to make the pottery myself, starting with small pieces, then gradually made them a little bigger. I use the traditional method to make my pottery: selecting chunks of clay, soaking them, then drying them out to grind into powder. It’s hard work, but after all the various steps are complete, a beautiful piece of art is made.
Lowden’s pottery mug is a beautiful representation of the traditional Acoma orange, black, and white polychrome style. As with her other pottery, it features modern interpretations of traditional Acoma symbols, including rain, clouds, mountains and rain parrots.
Everyone is invited to stop in seven days a week and see Lowden’s work in person at the Starbucks at Avanyu Plaza. There’s nothing like seeing the fine detail of her craftsmanship right before your eyes.
Starbucks at Avanyu Plaza
2400 12th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Open 7 days a week from 6am to 8pm.