Silver City -- Southwest New Mexico ACT is pleased to present the 11th Annual CLAY Festival July 11-17, 2022, in Silver City, New Mexico. CLAY Festival is a week-long celebration of all things earth, dirt, and clay with workshops, lectures, youth events, a Makers Market and more. 

The CLAY Festival will hold a fundraiser event at 7 pm Saturday, July 2. Advance tickets may be purchased on the festival website, No tickets will be available at the door. Live jazz performance, food and drinks from local businesses, and a silent auction to benefit this year’s CLAY Festival will be held. 

The CLAY Makers Market will be held on Saturday, July 16, from 10 am - 2 pm in the Main Street Plaza, just east of Bullard Street in historic, downtown Silver City. The CLAY Rodeo, a wheel throwing competition, and Mud Fun, a kids free-play with clay activity, will also coincide with the market from 12-2 pm. Live music, food vendors and demonstrations will also be offered at the Main Street Plaza. Yen Chu will present a wheel throwing demonstration during at 11 am in the Main Street Plaza. 


Joanna Keane Lopez will hold a lecture and hands-on demonstration, “Adobe & Aliz,” Monday, July 11, from 10 am - 2 pm at the Chino Building, Room 124, on the campus of Western New Mexico University. This event is free and open to the public, and is also available via Zoom and livestream. 

"Reflections in CLAY," a juried exhibition, will be held at Light Art Space, 209 W. Broadway in Silver City, from July 1-30. Juried by WNMU visiting artist, Jamie Bates Slone, the exhibition opening reception is July 1. Winners will be announced at a second artists' reception on Saturday, July 16, from 5-7 pm. 

Jamie Bates Slone will present a lecture at Western New Mexico University at Light Hall, Monday, July 11, at 7 pm. This in-person event is free and open to the public, and can also be accessed on Zoom and via livestream. 

In the Francis McCray Gallery, an exhibition of photographs by Ann MacMahon, "Frozen Windows From the Past," opens Tuesday, July 12, with an artist talk at 5 pm followed by an artist's reception. MacMahon's work will be on exhibit July 12-17. 

At 200 W. Market Street, a retrospective exhibition by Marko Fields will open with an artist talk and reception on Monday, July 11, from 4-7 pm; “Confessions of a Smarty Pants & Other Stories.” 

A one-night, free screening of "Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands" will be presented at the Silco Theater July 13, with pre-registration on Eventbrite. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the film starts at 7pm. The filmmaker will be available for a question-and-answer session following the film. 

Susi Meskill, a ceramics student at WNMU, will exhibit her work at the Grant County Art Guild Annex, 106 E. Market Street, July 13-16. Hours are: 4-6 pm Wednesday, 12-5 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10-6 pm on Saturday. She will also demonstrate her work at 4 pm on Saturday, July 16. 

A series of lectures on the Mimbres culture will be held on July 14, starting at 4 pm at Light Hall on the WNMU campus. These lectures are free and open to the public, with pre-registration on Zoom, and available via livestream. 

First, Danielle Romero, WNMU museum director, will present “Sourcing Clays and Finding Potters,” focusing on the ceramics from the Elk Ridge site, a large Classic Period pueblo, and discuss the movement of vessels to and from the site, as well as the distinct style seen on bowls produced there.

Then Christopher D. Adams, East Zone Archaeologist, will present “Feather Imagery in Mimbres Pottery,” a discussion of the importance of birds during the Mimbres Classic Period. 

Also, Scott Nicolay, PhD candidate at UC Merced, will discuss horned serpent iconography in Mimbres ceramics in “Taking the Serpent by the Horns: Reconsidering Mimbres Ceramic Iconography and Quetzalcoatl in the Southwest/Northwest.” 

Friday, July 15, from 10 am - 2 pm, mother and son duo Marlene Melchor and Dominic Melchor, potters from Santo Domingo Pueblo, will hold a demonstration at The Commons Center for Food Security and Sustainability, 501 E 13th Street in Silver City. Continuing the tradition of their community’s pottery-making, Marlene is fourth-generation potter and Dominic is a fifth-generation potter. Later that evening (from 6-8 pm) they will present traditional pueblo foods, and discuss pottery and life at the Santo Domingo Pueblo. 


For more information and to register for workshops, please visit  

Western New Mexico University visiting artist Jamie Bates Slone will hold a five-day workshop, "Sculpting the Self," Monday-Friday from 10 am - 5 pm at WNMU. 

Catherine Russo will hold a two-day workshop, "Impressions in Clay," in her home studio at  Seedboat Center for the Arts, July 12-13 from 10 am - 2 pm. 

Marko Fields will hold a two-day workshop at the Murray Hotel, "Printmaking in Clay and Building Vessels with Decorated Slabs," July 13-14, from 9 am - 3pm. 

Margarita Paz-Pedro will hold a one-day mosaic workshop July 15 from 10 am - 2 pm at Diana Ingalls Leyba Gallery & Studio, titled "The Fundamentals."

Mary Fischer will hold a three-day workshop at the Bear Mountain Lodge, July 12-14, called "Printing with Clay." 


Each year the CLAY Festival presents children's activities for 2nd-5th graders at local public libraries, inspired by a children’s book. This year, the book is Arrow to the Sun, an Indian Pueblo Tale by Gerald McDermott. All CLAY Play activities are free. See below for specific dates, times and locations: 

  • Silver City Public Library, July 12-14, 2-4 pm 
  • Gila/Cliff Public Library, July 14-15, 1-3 pm 
  • Bayard Public Library, July 12-13, 1-3 pm 

This year renowned local ceramic artist Kathryn Allen will offer a mask-making workshop for children, who will also have an opportunity to make an ice cream bowl and spoon. Children will pick up their creations July 22, then enjoy an ice cream party from 3-5 pm, sponsored by Bayard Food Basket. 

For more information, contact: Alexa Tubbs, project coordinator, at Or visit; @clayfestival; and #silvercityclayfestival.

Sponsors of CLAY Festival 2022 include: the Town of Silver City; Western New Mexico University; Freeport McMoRan Inc.; Cassie Health Center; WILL Community; Mike Morones and Associates; New Mexico Clay; Advanced Air; New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affair; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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