Now a retired educator, Maxine is descended from prolific and highly respected Jemez Pueblo potters, and mother to two more award-winners – Camilla and Dominique Toya.
A well-known award-winner, Maxine says she aims to “achieve the balance between traditional and contemporary” and her elegant figures certainly achieve that.
This beautiful Corn Singer is prays for a good harvest.
Corn is the Native Staff of Life, a symbol of good health, abundance, happiness and prosperity.
Holding an ear of Indian corn, with a graceful cornstalk painted on her dress, the figure is abstracted to essential forms and lines yet contains an emotional intensity that matches the grace of her forms.
The repetition of rounded lines and shapes reinforces the feeling of serenity. grace, and spirituality.
The mellow, earthy tones of the natural clays and pigments also contribute to the symbolic, esthetic, and emotional message.
Combining impeccable, stone-polished and matte clay finishes creates visual interest, but keeps the contrast gentle.
This maintains the spiritual, contemplative feel.
Praying for enough to eat, good health, and happiness is something we can all relate to, and Maxine Toya’s rendition speaks to us with art, heart, and spirit.