-The reason I draw the designs is to make the past and present come together. It's like mixing colors."
* Jordan Harvier, age
Bruce Hucko's new book,
Where There is No Name for Art: The Art of Tewa Pueblo Children, is
like Harvier's quote. It blends black-and-white photographs of
young artists, interviews and colorful artwork in such a way that
past and present come together for 40 children from five of the six
Tewa-speaking pueblos in New Mexico.
for example, displays 12-year-old Daniel Archuleta's close-up
painting of "rainbow moccasins'; another offers a picture of a
traditional basket dancer by Naomi Naranjo, 12. Flip forward and
there is a watercolor by Jeff Martinez, 8, of "funny football
players' and a satirical drawing by Juan de la Cruz, 12, of
tourists shoving fistfuls of money at Indian artisans in a plaza of
one of the pueblos.
Hucko tells us the
Tewa-speaking people have no separate word for "art" because art is
an integral part of daily life. In engagingly fresh and often funny
interviews, the children talk to him about their lives and artwork
while riding bikes, sitting in a clubhouse or playing video games.
"Where do you get your ideas from?" asks Hucko. "My head, duh!"
exclaims Devonna Naranjo. "There are still pictures in my head." Or
as Paige Mirabal puts it: "Like from God? It moves onto the paper.
It moves through your arm when you're painting." Or this, from
Mauricia Chavarria: "You have to believe in yourself and get what's
stored in your mind out, so you can store more."
The book was a collaboration among the children,
their families and communities, local teachers and Hucko, who has
worked as a local art teacher, writer and photographer. Members of
the pueblos of Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Pojoaque and
Nambé reviewed drafts of the book, while the children, who
were paid for their artwork, are helping to market it. Part of the
book's royalties will be donated to a Children's Art
Where There is No Name for Art by Bruce
Hucko is available in paperback for $20 from School of American
Research Press, P.O. Box 2188, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, N.M.