buffalo maiden goes to the capitol

06.10.2008

Visitors to the State Capitol are now greeted upon entering by Tammy Garcia’s monumental bronze sculpture, Buffalo Maiden, a gift from Blue Rain Gallery to the Capitol Art Collection. "We’re thrilled to have this piece," says Cynthia Sánchez, curator and executive director of the Capitol Art Foundation, the nonprofit organization in charge of the collection. "It’s a wonderful work, a piece of pottery, sculpture, and painting all in one, and its subject matter is particularly appropriate for this building—the symbolism of rain, fertility, abundance, and rain. It combines her visionary style with traditional motifs and the storytelling tradition, and is a terrific representation of New Mexico culture and history as well as being fine contemporary art." The foundation, whose collection is separate from the Governor’s Gallery, consists of a 25-member volunteer board of directors from around the state that meets regularly to review potential donations and acquisitions; not all submissions make the cut. In this case, says Sánchez, they had long hoped to acquire a Tammy Garcia work but assumed they’d only be able to afford a small piece, particularly with her work so much in demand. “The board was so excited to receive such a generous and meaningful gift," she says. "Our budget is limited and we rely a lot on donations, but we never expected anything so monumental.” The collection consists entirely of New Mexico artists past and present, from the Taos Moderns to contemporary Native American sculptors and painters. It’s there specifically to engage the public, so feel free to stop by for a tour.

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