Just imagine pottery pairing up with film and you get this exhibit: The amazing story of 2 people who saved a dying desert town

ST. GEORGE The Dixie State University Docutah International Documentary Film Festival is teaming up with the Arrowhead Gallery to present a unique film and art exhibit experience.

White jar with yin-yang cutouts by master potter Diego Valles, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Gallery, St. George News

Diego Valles, a master potter from Mata Ortiz, Mexico, will display his remarkable pottery at the Arrowhead Gallery April 24 before a screening of “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz,” a documentary about how a genre of pottery transformed a village. The event will start at 6 p.m.

This documentary is the Emmy winning and amazing story of how an American treasure hunter/anthropologist, Spencer MacCallum, and a Mexican artist, Juan Quezada Celado, transformed a dying desert village into a home for world-class art.

When MacCallum, walked into Bob’s Swap Shop in Deming, New Mexico, in 1976, he had no idea that his life and thousands of lives in a a dusty Mexican town were about to change.

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert and surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Mexico, Mata Ortiz is an unlikely place for an artistic renaissance. Yet the story of the pottery created in this remote village is the tale of creative inspiration, economic self-determination and the rebirth of an ancient art form that combines iconography and designs from ancient people with a variety of newer processes and styles.

Tickets for the event must be reserved in advanced and are $10 cash only at the door. Reservations can be made online.

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Event details

  • What: Diego Valles art exhibit and screening of “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz.”
  • When: Tuesday, April 24, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Arrowhead Gallery, 68 E. Tabernacle, St. George.
  • Cost: $10 cash only at the door.
  • Additional information: Tickets for the event must be reserved in advanced. Reservations can be made online.

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