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Alan Barbick had an uncommon natural experience the summer of 1994. Some call it a vision
others channeled information, or a religious encounter. Whatever it may be it has changed
his life forever.
While visiting friends in Arkansas, he says, "I was out for a morning walk and as I approached
a small cemetery I noticed 20 or more buzzards circling with one bird off from the main group
flying towards me. When all of a sudden a coyote came up to me and sat down facing away.
Next a group of morning cloak butterflies came in view and were all around me. Finally
the bird coming at me goes right over my head and it's a red-tailed hawk (now my signature
on the reverse of each work). Then everything disappears leaving the buzzards drifting south."
Having a deep affinity for the culture and spiritual beliefs of Native Americans, Barbick shared
his experience with several elders. First encountering the cemetery made the initial spiritual
connection. The buzzards were interpreted as cleansers, the butterflies-transition, the hawk
flying from the east brought knowledge, and the coyote facing away acted as a guardian of the
incident. A couple of weeks later, Barbick saw Kokopelli in a metal candlestick holder and
having the tools and lifetime experience of working with stone, decided to replicate him into
slate..."I've found my home on the pathway of life."
Although Barbick is not of Native American descent, he explains that it doesn't matter much
to him or the Native Americans with whom he associates. "I've learned it's really not what race
you are, but where your mind and soul are." With the utmost respect for the people and customs
of Native Tribes, Barbick remains quite humble regarding the recreation of their rock art.
He signs each piece with the Hawk symbol signifying his name, but always on the reverse rather
than the front. "I'm not the originator. I don't sign the front-out of respect," says Barbick.
He hopes to bring attention to the plight of the Native Americans. "There are countless tribes
that are gone forever," says Barbick who wishes to increase awareness for their culture, while
defending such natural rights as the protection of ancient burial grounds.
TO ALL MY RELATIONS Torrey Lakes, WY
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