The Poeh Cultural Center will feature the Jason Garcia and his series entitled “TEWA TALES OF SUSPENSE!”
2:00pm – Doors Open
3:00pm – Artist Panel w/ Jason Garcia, Tony Chavarria & Joseph Aguilar
“Tewa Tales of Suspense!” is a series of serigraph prints that illustrate the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. In the late 17th-century, Spain’s empire in the Americas extended north to New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California, where Spanish soldiers, settlers, and missionaries began to settle. The missionaries resettled the indigenous Pueblo people into peasant communities, building forts and missions to subdue and convert them to Catholicism. The Tewa people of Northern New Mexico, along with other Pueblo communities resisted Spanish conversion efforts and forced labor demands. Their sporadic resistance became a concerted rebellion in 1680 under the leadership of Po’Pay, a Tewa leader from O’ke Owingeh. The revolt was the most successful of Native American efforts to turn back European colonists, and for over a decade the Pueblos were free from intrusion.
About the Artist
Jason Garcia (Okuu Pin) does what great artists have been doing since the beginning of time: he carefully examines and interprets life around him and then shares those uniquely personal observations with the rest of the world. In his finished work—most often clay tiles that are created in the traditional Pueblo way with hand-gathered clay, native clay slips and outdoor firings — he transforms materials closely connected to the earth into a visually rich mix of Pueblo history and culture, comic book super heroes, video game characters, religious icons and all things pop culture.
The son of well-known Santa Clara Pueblo potters John and Gloria Garcia (known as Golden Rod), and the great grandson of the equally revered Santa Clara potter Severa Tafoya, Garcia notes he has been an artist all his life. He says, “I really don’t know much else…” However, in 2002, when he created his first “graphic tile,” he secured this calling while simultaneously expanding the norms of contemporary Pueblo pottery. His creative experimentation seamlessly blended ancient Pueblo designs, stories and scenery with images taken from Western popular culture. In his seminal piece “Grand Theft Auto – Santa Clara Pueblo,” for instance, Garcia replaced the illustrations from the cover of the video game Grand Theft Auto with scenes from Pueblo life, deftly joining worlds that may, to outsiders, seem unrelated.
Since that time, he has participated in several significant exhibitions including Comic Art Indigene at both the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC and Native Pop! at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Garcia has also received numerous awards and honors including a Ronald N. and Susan Dubin Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research, and both the coveted Best of Classification and Artist’s Choice awards at the world-famous Santa Fe Indian Market. Important museums have purchased his work for their collections, as well, including the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
With a number of artistic accolades already under his belt, Garcia shows no signs of slowing down. His work continues to evolve with opportunities to experiment in other mediums (like printmaking via the Map(ping) Project at Arizona State University) and with series such as “Tewa Tales of Suspense,” where Garcia documents important Pueblo events in a narrative, comic book style on clay tiles (a nod to both his fondness for “Love and Rockets” by Los Bros. Hernandez, as well as Santa Clara Pueblo artists such as Pablita Velarde and Lois Gutierrez de la Cruz).
Tony Chavarria is the Curator of Ethnology at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. He was the first Branigar intern at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe and has served as secretary and board member for the Council for Museum Anthropology in the past. He contributed to the publications A River Apart: The Pottery of Cochiti and Santo Domingo Pueblos, Painting a Native World: Life, Land and Animals, and Here, Now and Always: Voices of the Native Southwest. Among the exhibitions he has curated are the traveling exhibition Comic Art Indigene and Heartbeat: Music of the Native Southwest. He also served as a community liaison and curator for the inaugural Pueblo exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
Joseph Aguilar is an enrolled member of San Ildefonso Pueblo, and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His primary research focuses on the archaeology of the North American Southwest, with a specific interest in Spanish-Pueblo relations during the late 17th century. His general research interests include Indigenous Archaeology, landscape archaeology, and tribal historic preservation. A collaborative research project with San Ildefonso, his dissertation research examines Tewa resistance to the Spanish Reconquest efforts in the latter part of the Pueblo Revolt Era (1680-1696) as evident in the archaeological, historical and, oral records.