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Maria Alquilar Portrait

Maria Alquilar

New York, New York 1938

Active in:

  • Santa Cruz,

Photo Caption:
Photograph by Arthur Williams.

Luce Artist Quote

“. . . there is nothing quite like having a piece of your artwork on display for the whole world to see. It’s a legacy that could possibly stand for centuries.” Maria Alquilar, interview with Joe Valencia, Ceramics Monthly, May 1996


Born in New York. The daughter of a Russian Jewish mother and Spanish father. Her altarpieces seek to explore the mythic heritage of many cultures and expose their common threads.

Nora Panzer, ed. Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (New York and Washington, D.C.: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children in association with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1994)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Inspired by her Russian and Spanish heritage, Maria Alquilar combines elements from many cultures in her art. She does this to emphasize our shared experiences and to show different paths to enlightenment. With very little formal training, Alquilar turned to art after the sudden death of her husband. She frequently includes plants and animals in her work to express the spiritual connection between humans and nature. Seeking a more permanent medium than ceramic or paint, Alquilar began to produce metal sculptures during her residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin. She believes that a public work of art should appeal intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually to the visitors of the site.