Artists are born and made—this was a lesson I learned on my journey with the elders in my family. Grandma Ruth, born Refugia Marmolejo in El Paso, May 25, 1909, was part Tarahumara Indian and the eldest of twenty-four children. . . My grandmother provided me a space for adventure and also supported my dream to become an artist as something positive—she dabbled in the arts. In addition to outings and movement in the landscapes of our community, which gave me the source of my visual narratives, Grandma supplied me with art books and gave me access to impressionistic imagery.
My life journey has provided me ample options to become an artist with a critical consciousness and a heart. I seek beauty and truth in whatever I do, and I try to impart the knowledge that has been shared with me— authenticity is what I aim to attain in all that I do as I honor the lives of those who came before me. I recognize their history and acknowledge the humanity they express, by claiming my own sense of being.
Excerpt from Garcia, Margaret. 2013. “Learning from the Ancestors: An Artist’s Journey Through Life.”
Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social 12(2): 10-17.