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Native Lens: Ashley Nicole


Native Lens


Ashley Nicole is of Abiquiú heritage. Her film features her father, Antonio Garcia, a Genízaro from Abiquiú in northern N.M. In the mid-18th Century, Abiquiú became a settlement of Spaniards who Hispanicized local Native Americans. This informs Abiquiú today and its strong sense of community. People far and wide know Abiquiú as the site of Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio Ghost Ranch, but the Genízaro people have been living there for nearly 300 years, preserving their culture and identity despite a history of slavery and persecution.

Ashley’s subject, her father, has built a home that was born of the surrounding landscape. Antonio’s parents, Napoleon Garcia and Emma Ferran, bought property in Abiquiú many years ago and then divided it so that each of their ten children had a piece.

Antonio Garcia chose his lot on top of a hill because it had a view, and began to build a small house. Then, he began to create a very impressive wall around his house, using rocks that he found hiking. What he and his brothers shaped on their father’s land has become an artistic icon to locals in an area associated, by tourists, for the most part only as the home of Georgia O’Keeffe. Antonio, his father and his grandfather all worked for the legendary artist who was also inspired by Abiquiú’s landscapes. Ashley admires the creativity and devotion that her father has dedicated to building his home.

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