Tammy Garcia comes from a long line of Santa Clara Pueblo artists. Her great-great-great grandmother Sara Fina Tafoya was a potter. Her great-great aunt, Margaret Tafoya, was a noted potter of the early 20th century, along with her sister Christina Naranjo. Subsequent generations of potters in the family included Mary Cain, and Linda Cain, Tammy Garcia's mother.
At the age of 21, she was awarded first prize at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials, the first of many awards she has received. Starting in 1999, Garcia branched out into bronze, and now creates both ceramics and bronze sculptures.