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Glass beads and thread
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection
Gift of the artist
Noelle Garcia uses a range of media to shape a personal response to the complexities of family relationships and indigenous identity. Her reimagined cigarettes bring Native American traditions of beadwork to bear on symbols of pervasive, commonplace cultural change. An enrolled member of the Klamath tribes, she has been a fellow of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Nevada Arts Council. (DKS)
"I had several different motivations behind making this work. I wanted to make something that reminded me of my dad, but I also wanted to play with the peyote round stitch technique that is used by contemporary Indigenous people for making jewelry. My dad passed away somewhat young due to cancer from his extensive cigarette smoking, so my feelings about cigarettes are balanced with concern and affection. In addition, cigarettes have a layered relationship with Native American peoples. Many tribes use tobacco as an offering or during many other religious ceremonies. In modern history, the image of the Marlboro Man smoking cigarettes in his cowboy hat with his horse while free in the wilderness was a seductive image for many Native American men. After being culturally reprogrammed by Indian boarding schools, the image of a man in the wilderness was reminiscent of something many Indigenous people lost — a relationship with nature."