The Dragonfly Effect

Joe and Althea Cajero

“The Dragonfly Effect”

By Rob Dewalt, Photos by Minesh Bacrania New Mexico Magazine May 2014

NM Artscapes Magazine – May, 2014 (pdf)

The 10th annual Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival honors a couple of Placitas artists who share a transformative passion for their work, and one another. A January drive to the Placitas home studio of artists Joe and Althea Cajero provides the first stunning work of art I’ll see today: The afternoon sun casts a coralorange glow onto the imposing spine of the Sand?a Mountains, the crest made slightly opaque by the soft rise of pi?on smoke from adobes nestled into the valley below. Joe, originally from Jemez Pueblo, is a sculptor who works in bronze and clay, and Althea (from Santo Domingo and Acoma Pueblos), crafts jewelry using cuttlefish bone castings. They’re busy preparing pieces for the 10th anniversary of the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival, which will take place in Santa Fe on Memorial Day weekend, May 24-25.

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Joe Cajero: Sculptor of the Inner and Outer Realms

Native People Magazine
Native People Magazine

Joe Cajero: Sculptor of the Inner and Outer Realms

Clay and bronze sculptor Joe Cajero (Jemez Pueblo) is a master at portraying both the exterior features of his subjects?from soaring eagles to his trademark koshares?and their more elusive spiritual qualities.

By Daniel Gibson.
Native Peoples Magazine
October 2009

New this year, Local Treasures awards recognize accomplished N.M. artists for their body of work

New this year, Local Treasures awards recognize accomplished N.M. artists for their body of work

Sunday, August 31, 2008
By David Steinberg
Journal Staff Writer

Kevin Burgess, Joe Cajero Jr., Donna Loraine Contractor and Kathryne Cyman share several general identifiying attributes.

They are accomplished artists, they live in New Mexico and they are represented by galleries that are members of the Albuquerque Art Business Association. Next month Burgess, Cajero, Contractor and Cyman also will be sharing an honor with eight other artists: They will be recognized with the first-ever Local Treasures awards.

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Cajero Draws Line Between Freedom & Tradition

Cajero Draws Line Between Freedom & Tradition

By Keiko Ohnuma
Sandoval Signpost August 2008

Barely out of his teens, Joe Cajero had a bright career ahead of him as a Pueblo potter, crafting delicate clay figures and racking up prizes every year at Indian Market. The demand for his striped koshare (jester) figures was so strong, he bought a home in Placitas at the age of twenty-seven. He was in tune with Spirit, he felt, and had an unquestioned “ability to make things work.”

Then around five years ago, things turned on the sculptor. His marriage collapsed, the rising tide of success became a tsunami of grief, and now it was Cajero who was a lump of clay being pounded by bills on an artist’s pay.

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Joe Cajero Leaps Into His Soul

Joe Cajero Leaps Into His Soul

By George M. Green

When I met Joe Cajero three years ago and was introduced to his work, I realized immediately that he was a talented artist. His sculptures were at once intriguing and engaging, reflections of his observations, infused with his own particular sense of humor. This was particularly true of his Koshares, for which he was already quite well known. As he was a young man, not yet thirty, I presumed it would be interesting to watch his growth as an artist. But recently something has happened to Joe and his work, something that goes beyond mere growth, something which can only be described as a kind of quantum leap. His sculpture has taken on a soulful depth which is difficult to describe. The pieces, in addition to being beautiful in form and color, are so new and unexpected, that I find myself asking the obvious question; how in the world did you think of doing that?

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