New Orleans artist Juanita Gonzales produced clay sculpture, tile, and pottery that was far ahead of its time in terms of both technique and glazing.
Death deprived the art world of an intrepid, capable visionary when it took Juanita Gonzales well before her time in 1935 at age thirty-two after a lengthy illness. The New Orleans native graduated from Newcomb College in 1925 before heading to New York City, where she flourished under the tutelage of leading cubist sculptor and drawer Alexander Archipenko. Gonzales opened a studio on Governor Nicholls Street upon returning home to New Orleans, where she showcased clay sculpture, tile, and pottery that was far ahead of its time in terms of both technique and glazing. Gonzales’s creative influence extended from 1940 to 1945 in new shapes, forms, and textures at Newcomb, which now, as part of Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts, annually bestows the Juanita Gonzales Prize in Ceramics.