The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz

Scott Petersen

USA, Documentary, 2011
74 min, MiniDV/8mm/Super16mm, Color
Spanish, English with English subtitles


Mata Ortiz, a small community located in the Chihuahuan Desert, is an unlikely place for an artistic renaissance. In the 1960s, resident Juan Quezada found some pottery created by the Paquimé Indians while searching for firewood in the mountains. Quezada began to experiment with local clay, pigments and firing techniques. Without any sort of training, he relied on a painstaking trial-and-error method. In 1976, anthropologist Spencer MacCallum found a few of Quezada's pots in a second-hand store in New Mexico. Fascinated by Quezada's skill and unique talent, MacCallum decided to track down the artist. He finally located Quezada in Mata Ortiz and convinced him that his pottery could be sold in the US. What began as a hobby for Quezada has turned into a phenomenon that is recognized worldwide. The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz recently won the Directors' Choice Award for Best Arts Film at the Sedona Film Festival.


Texas Premiere

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Scott PetersenArmed with degrees in film and economics from the University of Michigan, Scott Petersen began his career on the feature film, Zebrahead. Along with working in John Hughes' office, his résumé includes work on Antiques Roadshow, Rescue 911, Unsolved Mysteries, Fox News, BBC, VH1, the Food Network, MGM Home Entertainment and several feature films and commercials. The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz is his third long-form documentary. He lives in Southern California.


Producer: Scott Petersen
Screenwriter: Scott Petersen
Cinematographer: Pete Biagi
Editor: Scott Petersen
Sound Design: Bobby Garza
Music: Patrick Kirst
Cast: Spencer MacCallum, Juan Quezada, Diego Valles, Nicolas Quezada, Walter Parks

Print Source: Scott Petersen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz

Friday, April 27 - 2:00 PM

MACC (Mexican American Cultural Center)

Free