John Montoya ( 1960- deceased) was a Native American from the Sandia Pueblo, which is located in the foothills of the Sandia mountains, extending into the bank of the Rio Grande, some 12 miles north of the city of Albuquerque. The name “Sandia” derives from Spanish for "watermelon," the name given for the color the mountains appear at sunset. Montoya began painting on ceramics as a teenager working with his Grandfather.
During the mid 1970's, John served with the US Navy, returning to Albuquerque and to the Sandia Pueblo and became a self taught potter using the traditional hand forming techniques of the South West Native community. John recently passed on and his working is appreciating in value. Not a great deal of his work has become available at auction or in Galleries in recent years, most of his output were vases and bowls, his figurines are quite a rarity compared to the bowls and plates he produced. In recent auctions comparable pieces to the one above have approached $1500.00 in value.