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Created and Sold by Garrett Etsitty

Garrett Etsitty
Essence of Life | Murals by Garrett Etsitty | Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque
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Essence of Life - Murals

Featured In Nativo Lodge, Albuquerque, NM

Item details

Artist Room by Garrett Etsitty at Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque featuring his mural "Essence of Life". He painted this room with good intentions thinking about her elders how they use to say, "life is beautiful, do your best to stay lifted and grounded." When he was 16, he caught a hummingbird and his grandpa said, "make an offering and wish to be swift like the hummingbird." He grabbed corn pollen sprinkled it on the hummingbird and caught the remains under his hand. It flew out of his hands and he watched it fly with good thoughts about his future. With the remains of the pollen, he rubbed it on his arm and made a wish that he would be a unique artist with speed and beauty of the hummingbird. In Dine' Culture, the hummingbird represents the Essence of Life. The hummingbird came from the second world and made a connection with pollen which the Dine' people utilized to make offerings in Beauty Way ceremonies. When the hummingbird flies it is shaped like the moon crescent and rainbow representing the cycles of our life, the seasons, our emotions, our accomplishments, choices, balance, discipline, and sense of self-respect and self-dignity. The hummingbird is also a representation of beauty all around us, beneath us, and above us when we walk on this corn pollen road called life. The room has and earth-toned background representing mother earth with a cosmic background representing a universal state of mind. The white lines are thoughts motioning into the stars while making offerings. He also added circuit board design representing the world today with a touch of blocks separating from the birds with a swift motion representing energy and motivation.

Context & Credits

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Garrett Etsitty
Meet the Creator
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Wescover creator since 2019
" Fresh colors of the southwest."

I was born and raised in Chinle, Arizona. I grew up with a deep love of painting and culture. From the petroglyphs on the canyon walls to the stories passed down from my elders, my work draws upon the inspiration of what it means to be a Dine’ person. I graduated from Fort Lewis College, where I received a BFA in painting and furthered my knowledge and understanding of Dine’ philosophy and culture. I use complex unions, of vivid colors and layers to articulate an indigenous understanding of thought, creation and ideology that moves beyond time and space. I will present a world view that comes directly from the stories handed down by my elders of my tribe. My proposal painting will express a oneness with creation, an unbroken loop from the creation story of my people to the modern day. Interweaving the parallels of the unconscious with the struggle of the natural environment. My primary audience will always be the youth and I believe my art will capture the young urban Indigenous minds to preserve culture.
“ My target audience has always been the youth. The youth are the ones who will carry our stories forward, I paint for the love of painting but also for the love of my culture. I want to make our stories come alive. I want the viewer to feel like they can reach out and touch the stories that have been handed down.”
My process includes acrylic paintings with a touch of water-based aerosol acrylic paint. This proposal fits squarely in the goals set for this public art project, in that it will be affirming to Dine’ youth, the Dine’ community at large, and hopefully other indigenous people. It is my hope that the color and patterns in the painting will attract the youth and make our story come alive. I want the viewer to feel like they can reach out and touch the stories that have been handed down. I believe our painting will be inspiring, restorative and motivational to all the youth of the Dine’ Nation.