Hopi Carver Pushes the Artistic Envelope with Large-Form Sculpture
The base for Gerry Quotskuyva’s Gnarly Root Project is a four-foot section of raw cottonwood root that sat in his garage drying for over a decade. During his Native artist fellowship with SAR, which runs from September to December, Quotskuyva is carving representations of Hopi culture and katsinam to make a “statement of the time”.
Large-form sculptures are new to the Sedona, AZ, artist. Quotskuyva, featured recently in an Albuquerque Journal Venue article, has worked in a variety of mediums, including ice, bronze and glass, and his katsinam are prized by collectors around the country.
Cottonwood root used as the base for Gerry Quotskuyva’s project.
As the article shares, the cottonwood root he is working with now has both a smooth side, a “gnarly” side, and multiple shoots, including one that has grown around a rock.
“There’s a lot of unique characteristics about this piece that you just do not find,” he says. “So, basically, I’m taking Mother Nature’s artwork and enhancing it in this case.”
Quotskuyva plans an intricate tableau of up to 30 mostly female figures, including a carved hand which holds the rock, a grandmother katsina known as Ha Hai-I Wuhti and a representation of the clown katsina Koshari hanging on to the edge of a shoot. The Journal quotes Quotskuyva:
“The wood started talking to me,” Quotskuyva said at his SAR studio. “And every day … as I’m working on bringing out one of the figures, I get more messages.” Read the full Albuquerque Journal article online.
SAR will host Quotskuyva for an artist talk and open studio on Thursday, November 15, where he will discuss the project and provide an inside look at his artistic process. Learn more here.