the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Tammy Garcia


2008 recipient, Sculpture

While it might seem unusual to give a lifetime achievement award to a 38 year-old, Taos artist Tammy Garcia's accomplishments in introducing unique contemporary design to ceramics, jewelry, pottery and sculpture are unparalleled.

Nominator Bob Nurock notes that the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis has held a retrospective of Garcia's work and that the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. will have a major exhibition of Garcia's work this coming August. "She will be the youngest featured artist ever in its history," Nurock said. "Both of these bring wide recognition to the State of New Mexico." Garcia is a descendent of the renowned Tafoya family of distinguished potters, and she learned her art from her mother Linda Cain and her grandmother Mary Cain.

Garcia is also known for being an artist who gives back to the community. She donates works of art to benefit numerous nonprofits in New Mexico including the Buckaroo Ball and the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Through her Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, she helps promote other Native American artists and organizes traveling shows in the major art markets in the United States, noted JoAnn Lynn Balzer in her letter of support. "I believe Tammy Garcia is one of the best artists working today - anywhere," Balzer said. "Although firmly grounded in and informed by her pueblo heritage and tradition she has taken the art form into a new dimension. . . .She creates pottery and sculpture that are simply breathtaking and her talent seems to have no limit in expression of artistic creativity."