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Chaco Canyon inspires ‘Songs for My Muse’

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

“Winter Woman” is a 2020 serigraph by Jason Garcia. (Courtesy of Hecho A Mano)

Like other new art galleries in Santa Fe, Hecho a Mano has hit a bump in the road due to the state-mandated shutdown because of the coronavirus.

Frank Rose opened his gallery at 830 Canyon Road in March after working for form & concept and Manitou Gallery.

Rose isn’t giving up on his dream, though. He’s moving to boost his online profile and waiting out the pandemic.

“Songs for My Muse,” a show of new works on paper by Santa Clara Pueblo Tewa artist Jason Garcia/Okuu Pín, was due to be held at the gallery from March 27 until April 19 before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued her stay-at-home order on March 23.

“Zenith” is a 2020 serigraph by Jason Garcia.

Rose has extended the show’s date until May 25 and reopened his gallery on Saturday, May 16, after the governor loosened restrictions on retail.

In the meantime, you can see examples of Garcia’s drawing and printmaking at Rose’s site, hechoamano.org.

Works in the exhibition include pieces inspired by Garcia’s recent National Parks Arts Foundation artist-in-residence experience at Chaco Culture National Historial Park in northern New Mexico.

“Corn Maiden I” is a 2020 pen-and-ink drawing by Jason Garcia.

“I use the ancestral past to influence my work today,” Garcia said in a statement. “When you visit Chaco, it’s hard to get a sense of the people who lived there. My works based on this experience put the humanity back into what appears to be an empty village.”

Garcia is the son of well-known Santa Clara Pueblo potters John and Gloria Garcia, and the great grandson of famous Santa Clara potter Severa Tafoya.

Jason Garcia said he has been an artist all his life. “I really don’t know much else,” he said.

In 2002, when Garcia created his first “graphic tile,” he began expanding the norms of contemporary Pueblo art. Since then, Garcia’s work has blended ancient Pueblo designs with images taken from Western popular culture. “In Grand Theft Auto – Santa Clara Pueblo,” Garcia replaced illustrations from the cover of the popular video game with scenes from Pueblo life.

“Corn Maiden II” is also a 2020 pen-and-ink drawing by Jason Garcia.

Rose of Hecho a Mano said, “I think what makes Jason’s work so compelling is that it challenges this notion that Native culture and Native people exist in the past. It pokes fun at romanticized imagery, while centering tradition as something contemporary.”

“Using traditional materials and traditional Pueblo pottery techniques, I feel that it is important to keep alive the ceramic traditions that have been passed down to me since time immemorial,” Garcia said. “I feel that these materials and techniques connect me to my ancestral past and landscape. Printmaking media is just another way of creating and teaching these stories and traditions to a wider audience.”

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