This is an inspirational family, the best-known member of which is Angélica Vásquez Cruz. Her success has brought attention to and catalyzed the creative work of her talented parents, Delfina Cruz Díaz and Ernesto Vásquez Reyes. Enedina, their other daughter, produces her own distinctive terra cotta work, along with her daughters, Verónica Mariana and Vilma Sandra. While Angelica lives outside of the center of their pueblo, Enedina, Verónica and Vilma Sandra are more centrally located, as are Delfina and Ernesto
Delfina Cruz Díaz and Ernesto Vásquez Reyes
This closely-knit couple has worked as a team throughout their more than 50 years of marriage. Early in their careers they made the exclusively utilitarian pieces (such as pots for rice and beans, planters and incense burners) for which Santa María Atzompa is well known. However, beginning at 40 years of age Delfina and Ernesto started to create soulful human figures and lively jugs sporting small animals and flowers – of moderate to large proportions – that are for purely decorative purposes. Some can be simultaneously used as planters. Their proud forms convey the vigor and vivaciousness of persons engaged in crucial everyday work.
Angélica Vásquez Cruz (daughter of Delfina and Ernesto)
Angélica’s evocative and elaborately detailed terra cotta pieces — heavily influenced by indigenous legends and Mexican history — have won contests and are highly sought by collectors. A staunch advocate of the rights and talents of women, Angélica’s preferred theme is women, their significance and their multiple life roles. She is an extraordinary raconteur who vividly relates her complex and moving history, and proudly explicates her ceramic pieces. Surrounded by the trees and flowers that enchant her, Angélica pursues life as “a dream, a dance, a fair,” always alert to its new possibilities.
Enedina Vásquez Cruz (daughter of Delfina and Ernesto)
Enedina Vásquez Cruz creates her original pieces with a loving spirit, taking deep pride in having broken from tradition and being original; she cites as one example earthy colors made from natural substances that are applied to terra cotta. Enedina has developed a reputation for her female figures dressed in costumes of the seven regions of Oaxaca, and her two-sided pieces treating historical and religious subjects. One features the birth of Mexico on one side, and the Virgin of Soledad on the other.
Verónica Mariana Velasco Vásquez (daughter of Enedina and granddaughter of Delfina and Ernesto)
Verónica’s talent was recognized in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition in which she won honorable mention in ceramics for her “Mystery of Death,” “a natural occurrence we cannot change.” In a form reminiscent of a nativity, she positioned two medium-sized figures and a child, attended by animals, beside a palm tree. She specializes in a wide spectrum of richly elaborated religious themes.
Vilma Sandra Velasco Vásquez (daughter of Enedina and granddaughter of Delfina and Ernesto)
Vilma Sandra’s outstanding abilities were also recognized in FOFA’s 2008 young artists’ competition in which she won honorable mention in ceramics for “The Plaza.” In this remarkable miniature scene, she shares an aspect of her ancestral culture; tiny figures barter with other merchants for daily necessities, such as flowers, ceramics, and tamales. Vilma’s specialty is working in miniature.