Alma Loretto Concha Maestas was world-renowned for her 'storytellers.'

Courtesy photo

Alma Loretto Concha Maestas passed peacefully from this world in the company of some of her children Jan. 1 to be with our Lord and her ancestors whom she loved so much. Alma was a world-famous Native American potter.

Alma was a large part of the art community and parish community of Taos, Taos Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo and San Ysidro, where she settled with her second husband Vitalio Maestas who survives her. Alma was Born of the Jemez and Laguna tribes in New Mexico to Louis and Carrie Reid Loretto, Oct. 9, 1941. She married the late Delfino Concha Sr. of Taos Pueblo and was mother to seven children. Alma was one of the original storyteller figurine-makers. Her distinct terra cotta figurines, pots and nativity sets have been an inspiration for numerous other Pueblo artists. Alma enjoyed teaching young artists and was a guest teacher at several colleges, including The University of New Mexico.

Alma received awards and accolades from around the world. Alma's work was featured in magazines, newspapers and the books: "The Pueblo Storyteller," "Story Tellers and Other Figurative Pottery," the Smithsonian Magazine, New Mexico Magazine and Taos News. Her pottery was featured in the Smithsonian Institute, the Denver Museum and museums worldwide. Her work is the centerpiece of many private collections around the world.

Alma's accomplishments are too many to mention, but include being listed in the book of Guinness World Records, commissioned by the Vatican to have her art work displayed in Rome and receiving a Papal blessing. Alma would say her biggest accomplishments were bringing seven children into this world and being able to enjoy the company of four generations of family.

Alma was a devout Catholic who taught Catechism to many. She was a member of the Guadalupanas of Taos Pueblo St. Jerome Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church of Taos and her Church in San Ysidro. Alma was adventurous, she was able to travel the world, made many pilgrimages, visited sacred sites and loved our Pope St. John Paul II; she was thrilled to see him when he arrived in Denver.

Alma is survived by her seven children; Vernon, Renee, Antoinette, Monica (son Michael's spouse), Dr. Delfino Jr. (Victoria), John D. and Justin Reid. She also leaves four generations of grandchildren, hundreds of close relatives, friends and the art community around the world.

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