A Mata Ortiz Pottery Exhibit
Press Release Kit

Ancient Trade Routes Reimagined

August 5th - August 27th

Oasisamerica is known as the region that stretches from modern day Utah down to Southern Chihuahua. The stone ruins of 1000 year old trade settlements throughout Oasisamerica still stand today. Chaco Canyon and Paquimé (aka Casas Grandes) are two such historic sites along the ancient route from Northwestern New Mexico to Northern Chihuahua, Mexico. 18 miles south of Paquimé lies Mata Ortiz, a village renowned for their unique pottery. Despite their close proximity to Paquimé, modern day artists in Mata Ortiz have only began making pottery since the 1970s. When Paquimé was abandoned in the mid 1400s, the knowledge of the Paquimé pottery process was almost completely lost. The only clues that remained of the once rich pottery scene were the scattered remains of ceramic shards. Through ingenuity and creativity, the ceramic artists of Mata Ortiz learned how to create their own style of pottery from the pottery fragments left behind. Today, the modern-day Mata Ortiz artists are pushing the boundaries of their craft by blending together ancient influences of Paquimé pottery with their own contemporary style.


Trails to Oasis reimagines the exchange of arts and culture between Chaco Canyon and Paquimé through connecting modern day Albuquerque and Mata Ortiz together. While the trading of Mata Ortiz pottery in the Southwest since the 1970s is nothing new, the visibility to the contemporary artists behind the work and current Mata Ortiz culture remains undervalued and overlooked. In a world of hyper connectivity, how can the once shared narrative between our regions in Oasisamerica be so disconnected from one another today? What can we learn about ourselves when we bridge that gap once again?  


Movimiento Art (Albuquerque, NM) and Citi Rhythms (Albuquerque, NM) in collaboration with Colectivo Matajaris (Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico) explore this concept in Trails to Oasis. Select works from Mata Ortiz artists will be exhibited for sale alongside candid video documentation of the people, artist processes, music, food, geography and culture of Mata Ortiz.


Trails to Oasis will debut two unique experiences on Friday August 5th, 2022 at Secret Gallery (807 4th st. SW) and on Sunday, August 7th, 2022 at The Hall ABQ (105 Jefferson St. NE). Both gallery experiences will run until Friday, August 27th, 2022. 

The Collaborators

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Movimiento Art is a collective of artists whose vision is to Connect Creative Communities through the exchange of Ideas, Language and Art. Since 2016, members of Movimiento Art have travelled from New Mexico to Chihuahua and created a dynamic relationship with the artists of Mata Ortiz. Through the buying and selling of their pottery, and facilitation of different collaborations and community projects, our members have established a keen eye for innovative pieces, bright colors and new designs that continue to push this artform forward.

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Colectivo Matajaris is an artist collective based in Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico created to improve the quality of life for artists and youth. 

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Citi Rhythms is a traveling group of content creators based in Albuquerque, NM that focuses on sharing unique cultural and candid stories. 

The Art Galleries

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Secret Gallery is a POC led & curated arts collective, gallery and organization working to elevate the contemporary arts of the Southwest region. As an organization, Secret Gallery aims to highlight Southwest Contemporary art that is accessible to all communities and an honest reflection of the region’s arts & cultural landscape.

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The Hall ABQ is an art gallery, performance venue, and kick back spot focused on curating regional and international art experiences for Albuquerque, NM. 

Follow the Trail