Local artist, Diane Martinez, successful at the state fair

BOSQUE FARMS — After two years, this fall’s New Mexico State Fair had a sense of normalcy and a sense of accomplishment for a potter from Bosque Farms.

R. Diane Martinez, known for her signature contemporary tableware for more than 40 years, brought home 13 blue ribbons for her pottery.

Like everything over the last two years, the art world has been shut down – no shows, no exhibitions, few sales and artists looking for ways to channel their energies.

While Martinez spent much time playing with clay and creating black pieces, she has also experimented with panel construction, incorporating a stag’s antler into a panel, as well as various embellishments for her signature glossy black vessels.

One piece that recently brought home a band, a corn maiden sculpture, is adorned with thousands of shimmering seed beads, each one hand-placed by Martinez.

At one point during the pandemic, her husband raised a white flag, declaring that they were “drowning” in pottery and begged Martinez to find other things to make, smaller things.

So she switched to jewelry making. Using “shrinky dink” plastic material, she created hundreds of necklaces and earrings featuring the very same “sus” characters from the wildly popular online game Among Us, described as “a party game of teamwork and betrayal.”

She also used the plastic material to create earrings patterned after cattle ear tags, embellishing them with flourishes and designs reminiscent of her husband’s family brand.

In addition to being digitally smitten by her granddaughters, Martinez drew inspiration from numerous K-pop artists and began pursuing multiple K-dramas during lockdown.

“There was one where this guy played three different roles,” Martinez said.

Fascinated, she began to draw him, but had problems. Knowing something was wrong, Martinez posted a draft on Facebook and TikTok asking for feedback. Not knowing the picture was of a man, most of the feedback boiled down to it looking like an “ugly girl”.

“But I really appreciated it because nobody was mean. They were just honest opinions,” Potter said. “One woman said she appreciates that I share my ‘artistic journey’ with everyone because a lot of people think it’s easy, and for a lot of people it is, but lately it’s been hard for me.”

As Martinez returns to the hustle and bustle of art shows across the country, she can say that as a potter, she’s a New Mexico True Certified brand artist. Last spring, the New Mexico Tourism Department unveiled a refresh of the New Mexico True brand, and since its inception five years ago, the program has quadrupled.

According to the department’s website, the New Mexico True Certified program draws national attention to the quality, care, and craftsmanship behind products that are authentically New Mexico sourced and offers businesses of all sizes the opportunity to have the New Mexico True Certified logo at the point -to integrate of -sale and on packaging, transaction and marketing materials.