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B.C. Nowlin defines his art as ” a border town…a journey”; and it certainly mirrors his cross cultural background. A native of Alameda, New Mexico, his family’s land formed the southern boundary of the Sandia Pueblo Reservation. Nowlin came of age steeped in experiences of vibrant Hispanic culture and Native Puebloan mysticism. His enrollment in seminary school and service to the United States Marine Corps define the paradox of his early life choices.
At 12, Nowlin bicycled to purchase his first oil paints and canvas. At 17, he was expelled from high school art class by an instructor enraged at B.C.’s insistence on painting his images, his way. Nowlin’s die was cast and his development without any formal art education is a signature aspect of his imagery and personality.
Nowlin’s diverse and prolific early images may have been the result of childhood pressure to please religious, relentlessly critical parents or simply escape from his blue collar twenties as a construction worker and truck driver. Whatever his motives, Nowlin became something of a road warrior as an artist, crafting a lifestyle of constant travel, painting, exhibition and chaotic experimentation with his arts’ direction. ” Nowlin changes images faster than most of us change clothes. He avoids cliches as assiduously as he would stepping barefoot into cactus.”
– Washington Post-
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