Maria Martinez

Art Projects and Curriculum

Student Artwork Showcase






Native American



Maria Martinez (1881-1980)

Maria Martinez was a Native American potter from the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in New Mexico. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest traditional Native American potters of the 20th century. Maria learned the art of pottery making from her mother, who was also a skilled potter. She was known for her unique style of black-on-black pottery, which involved coating the pottery with a glossy, black slip and then burnishing it to a smooth finish. She worked with her husband, Julian Martinez, to perfect this technique and their work was widely celebrated.

Maria became a respected leader in the Native American art community and her work has been widely exhibited and collected by museums and institutions around the world. Today, she is remembered as an important figure in the preservation of traditional Native American art forms.

Maria Martinez Art Lesson & Art Activity

The history and culture of the Southwest Pueblo Native Americans is integrated with the introduction of master potter, Maria Martinez. The steps in making pottery are explored in preparation for the students to shape and decorate their own pottery. Be sure to click through the student masterpieces at the top of this page.

Art Elements Taught

Three Dimensional Shape

Art Activity Emphasis

Pueblo Pottery with Native American Symbols

Vocabulary Learned

balance, composition, contrast, detail, realistic, studio, symmetry, texture, value

Student Art Supplies

Clay, Watercolor Brushes
Art Lessons for Maria Martinez

How the Art Program Works:

1. Assembly

Introducing the Masters—Multi-Purpose Room or Classroom (20-45 minutes)

2. Student Worksheets

Learning from the Masters—Classroom (15-30 minutes)

3. Student Art Projects

Working with the Masters—Classroom (50-60 minutes)

Real Reviews from Real Teachers & Parents

See Why Everyone Loves Meet The Masters

Meet the Masters Art Program and their teachers have been a wonderful addition to Las Palmas Elementary School. Our students love the engaging discussions about art and famous artists and greatly enjoy the actual art projects. The students are a part of raising the funds each year to keep the program going and they love hearing they have reached the amount and art is returning. Meet the Masters is an easy to implement program at any school, highly organized, and worth the money.

Kristen Nelson
Principal, Las Palmas Elementary School, San Clemente, CA

More Artists on the Same Track

Save more with a track purchase & teach all year long.

All tracks include:

  • Implementation guide to manage scheduling, volunteers & communication
  • Multi-level, age-appropriate curriculum for all seven artists in this track
  • Engaging PowerPoint visuals that include vocabulary, art concepts & music
  • Timed, illustrated & scripted lessons perfect for teachers or volunteers
  • Hands-on technique worksheets, art project details, art prints, games & props

*Art supplies and teacher/volunteer training DVDs can be added to your order.