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Amy Cordova
(American, b. 1953)
The Inheritance
acrylic and oil pastel on paper, 40 x 64”
Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation Purchase

Like so many people in contemporary America, Amy Cordova’s cultural background is mixed – in her case, a combination of Chicano, Native American, and European. Her ancestral roots are in Taos, New Mexico, but she has lived in the midwest for many years and her sons have grown up largely in the midwest. It is important to her that her sons come to see and know the elements of their Hispanic and Native American ancestry. As its title suggests, The Inheritance is about transmission of images, memories and beliefs of an ancestral culture, on to the next generation. Cordova based this large, two-panel drawing on her own Native American ancestors. The symbolic elements, such as the corn, wolf’s skin, raven, antlers, fish, bird, and snake, are literally a part of the figures’ bodies, underscoring Cordova’s belief in the power of traditional cultural knowledge, and its importance to living peoples.

“ I believe in the interconnectedness of all things. My lifelong interest in the traditions, stories and art of various cultures combined with a deep love of the natural world, has shaped the art I make and the life I lead. I attempt to bridge cultural barriers by exploring concepts of our common ground – states of emotion and central images such as lover, healer, elders, the natural world – which provide strong connecting roots for my work.”
— Amy Cordova

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