Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Artrain USA

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Sponsored locally by the American Indian Cultural Center & Museum, Artrain USA is presently making a stop in Oklahoma City at the Santa Fe Depot and Amtrak facilities in downtown Oklahoma City. The exhibits are free to see and are on display until November 28 ... but it opens again at Norman on November 30.

I'd originally said that the local press didn't cover this event as far as I knew ... but I've now noticed, after the fact (this edited note is written 11/29/07), that an Oklahoman article did appear in the Sunday, November 18, edition. Shoshana Wasserman, reflecting on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and its origins rooted in American history, Euros and Natives alike, had this to say:
With such rich history associated with the holiday and with Oklahoma being home to more tribes than any other state, what better way to celebrate than by attending a contemporary expression of American Indian culture?
* * *
"Native Views,” recently designated an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts, is a contemporary American Indian art exhibition touring coast to coast onboard Artrain USA. "Native Views: Influence of Modern Culture” explores the many commonalties native and non-native people share.

Visitors discover the richness, complexity and breadth of contemporary American Indian art while examining varying perspectives on society. Guest curator Joanna Bigfeather (Western Cherokee and Mescalero Apache) redefines native art by broadening the limits and confronting the stereotypes that currently define it. Featured among the 70 artworks by 53 renowned American Indian artists are works by Steven Yazzie (Navajo) and Alex Jacobs (Akwessasne Mohawk).

Several artists featured are Oklahomans or have historical relationships with Oklahoma, including Norman Akers (Osage), Marcus Amerman (Choctaw), Barry Coffin (Potawatomi and Muscogee Creek), Douglas Coffin (Potawatomi and Muscogee Creek), Anita Fileds (Osage), Jesse T Humingbird (Cherokee), Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi and Choctaw), Anita Fields (Osage), Kay Walkingstick (Cherokee), Richard Ray Whitman (Euchee, Muscogee Creek Nation) and Phil Young (Cherokee, Scottish and Irish).

In January, Artrain USA, America's Hometown Art Museum, was awarded the National Award for Museum and Library Service, the federal government's highest honor for community service provided by a museum or library.
Although I and maybe you missed that article, I didn't miss the event since I tagged along with my wife who did know which is, of course, the "way of wives!" So, have a look at this fine event which includes a rare (for me, anyway) look inside the Santa Fe Station! According to Artrain's website,
Artrain USA is currently showcasing Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture, a contemporary Native American art exhibition. Comprised of 71 artworks by 54 Native American artists, Native Views explores the influence of popular culture and the many commonalties shared by all Americans.
See the AICCM website for additional detail about times, images & videos.

On display since November 25, a reception occurred last night, November 26, and these images show much of what I saw. So, now, enjoy the tour! Click on any image for a larger view.

Outside Santa Fe Depot Looking Up & East

Last Night's Reception in Santa Fe Station
Hosted by the American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

Looking Northeast

Looking East

Looking West

Local Artist Richard Ray Whitman, Yuchi, and his children
(also see this Indian Country article and his art in the train, below)

Mary Jo Watson & Renowned Artist Kelly Haney
Mr. Haney's work includes "The Guardian" atop the Capitol Dome
and he is presently the Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation

Hardworking Volunteers Helped Everything Be "Just So!"

Through the Connection to the Amtrak Tracks

Looking North Along the Train

Just Walking Through the Train and Gawking Around

Harry Fonseca's
Rose and Coyote Dressed Up For the Heard Show

Manuelito Wheeler's I Sense Something

Gotcha, Janie!

Diego Romero's White Corn Mother
(or What's That Woman Doin' In That Bowl Down There?)

Mateo Romero's Route 66

James Lavadour's New Blood

Richard Ray Whitman's Genetic Memory

Judith A. Lowry's Road Kill Warrior: Last of His Tribe

Jason Lujan's Surrounded by Thieves and
Phil Young's Glen Canyon Desecrations, #2

Alex Jacob's Kanienkehake Warriors: People of the Flint

Anita Fields' Moving Among the Elements of the Earth

James Luna's High Tech Peace Pipe
(or A Smoke-A-Phone!)

Stephen Wall's Code-Writer

A Gift Shop At Train's End

Betty Price (below, center)

And A Great Time Was Had By All!
Mary Jo Watson, Sherry Sullivan & Blue Clark

That's it! The free tour ends on the 28th, I think, but resumes in Norman on November 30.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

4 Centennial Events

3-DAY CENTENNIAL MINI TOUR. After twelve months of leading up to Oklahoma's 100th anniversary, Thursday through Saturday, November 15, 16 and 17, 2007, saw the culmination of all of this state's grand hoopla which sort of began at the Thanksgiving 2006 Macy's Parade in New York City. Three days of events focused on Guthrie, the state's first capitol, and Oklahoma City, its last! Lots of internet and other resources tell the tales ... I'll tell of only four on my 3-day mini tour and in the following sequence:

(1) Sunset Ceremony
Thursday 11/15/07
(2) Centennial Spectacular
Friday 11/16/07
(3) State Art Collection
Saturday 11/17/07
(4) Devon River Parade
Saturday 11/17/07
Initially, I'd thought to put all 4 items above in a single page ... but on edit I've given each page its own "space" ... so click on what you want to see, above, for my mini-whirlwind 3-Day Centennial Festivities Tour. Also, note that several YouTube videos by BPOETA of Centennial Spectacular acts are included in Part 2 of this tour.
... Click here to read the full article and any comments ...

Centennial Sunset Ceremony

SUNSET CEREMONYCentennial Spectacular
State Art CollectionDevon River Parade

SUNSET CEREMONY. Not surprisingly, not all Oklahomans have relished in Oklahoma's Centennial experience — Native Americans whose lands were dispossessed by the White Man's Intrusion into the land originally inhabited by the Wichita and Caddo Indians before the United States government forcibly removed many other tribes into Oklahoma Territory from all over the United States, and, after that, by the opening of Indian Territory to land runs for white settlement — their successors would reasonably have less cause for celebration.

Some Native Americans registered their views in a protest at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. According to an Associated Press article reported at MSNBC,
Chanting “no justice, no peace,” American Indians and their supporters marked the state’s centennial Friday with a march on the state Capitol to denounce the events that led to Oklahoma’s statehood.

Descendants of famous Oklahomans donned period costumes to lead the celebration in Guthrie, the state’s first capital, while in Oklahoma City, about 500 tribal members recalled the experience of ancestors who were forced from their traditional lands and marched to what became Oklahoma.

“We were here before statehood. We were here first,” said Brenda Golden, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe and one of the march’s organizers.

“We’re not going to do-si-do with the white man today,” said Dwain Camp, a member of the Ponca tribe. “We’re going to do this as long as they celebrate taking our land.”
Be that as it may, on the eve of statehood, November 15, a Sunset Ceremony was held on the steps of the venerable Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie. Earlier in the day, a train, the “Centennial Express,” transported legislators from downtown Oklahoma City to downtown Guthrie to participate in the day's events.

Gena Howard, master of ceremonies for the event and the executive director of the Native American Cultural and Education Authority (which is constructing the American Indian Cultural Center in Oklahoma City), is quoted in a November 16 Tulsa World article as saying,
"What was once a collision of cultures in a new land has today become a collaboration." The ceremony was intended to "honor the past, those who have perished, and those who have paved the way and are not forgotten."
The event included several Native American speakers who addressed the crowd which included many members of the Oklahoma Legislature and the state's Lieutenant Governor, Jari Askins, and, of course, white man Doug Dawg who was present to observe and choronicle his wife's participation in the event.

The same article quotes Russell Tall Chief ...
Russell Tall Chief, who is Osage and the director of the Jacobson House Native Art Center in Norman, drew laughter and applause when he told the group that he knew both the "cowboy" and "Indian" versions of the two-step.

"Why?" he asked. "Because I'm an Oklahoman."

He later said: "We cannot change the past, but we also cannot forget it. Together, we can heal our histories and ensure a healthy future."
And such was the spirit of those present in Guthrie on November 15. The images below show some of the mingling of white, black, and Native Americans who attended the sunset event.

Click any pic for a larger image.

Masonic Scottish Rite Temple

Looking West

Two Ladies

Native American Flute

Guthrie's Mayor

Indian Drummers & Chanters

Two More Ladies & Their Cool Hats

Sun Sets In The West

Gina Howard

Gina Howard & Mary Jo Watson

Closing Prayer & Ceremony

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