This is the story map I created for the map(un)mapped creativity exploring on Earth Day, 2023. The map carries you along the concepts and creative modes available to us to use to reconsider where we are and how to use these tools to reflect our lives in place we inhabit.
map(un)mapped • discussion
Today's Good Friday moon comes to you from Owen Park IT, yes kids which is still located in Indian Territory as it was called before the land was parceled, packaged, sold, and stolen.
Only 119 years ago poor old McDonald, who had some nitroglycerin, was vaporized when a tragic accident occurred and created a crater much like a moon crater, but folks 'round here use it as a pond.
This is from the Gilcrease Collection in Tulsa IT, it's called "A Disposable Death Sketch and was created in 1993. Earl was born in 1947, was a member of the Absaroke (Crow) tribe, and was raised by his grandmother at Crow Agency, Montana, and at Yakima, Washington. I was touched by the intensity of feeling that the work conveys and drawn into a path of discovery, I found more at Toh-Atin Gallery
My artwork continues to be informed by my research and immersion into the history of this deep red and deeply divided state of what was once labeled Indian Territory.
In some respects, I am haunted by the imagery I discover, and the use of photo layering is an attempt to create a composite narrative for a past that was and never was.
On my father's side, my family came to Oklahoma in the early part of the 20th century from Poland. My grandfather worked in the smelters, my grandmother was a house cleaner and they lived with five children on the western edge of Bartlesville in a Polish neighborhood on the poor side of town.
My mother claimed a mixed bag of ethnicity: English, Dutch, Irish, and a smattering of Cherokee blood that was buried in the ground so deeply that it was rarely spoken of and mostly forgotten; a topic that was off-limits. In truth, our family heritage was frayed by sagas of death, separation, and divorce; elements that fracture one's connection to place and to one another. Now anyone who could speak to it has passed; what remains is my desire for a connection to place.
I feel indigenous to this territory; I've lived here for most of my 67+ years but my longing for a deeper connection goes unrequited except through my efforts to lay claim to a homeland through my creativity. The world changes so rapidly, it seems we spend most of our time either looking ahead, trying to remember what was, or trying to forget; it's a race to keep up that no one can win.
This piece called "mother was a dear" will be on display at Price Gallery in Tulsa in April 2023.
There are four individual layers embedded in this image. It is a personal and meditative study of loss; a lament for a connection to a world that I am a part of and yet am also removed from.
Layer 1: Nellie Johnstone, Bartlesville Oklahoma.
Layer 2: Mrs Ryals
Layer 3: Eudotia Teenor
Layer 4: Found Poem of the Creeks
More on these layers to follow.
One of the series of Shumard oaks that border the Senator's Walk at the museum.
a chilly morning at Gilcrease, walking the grounds, down the Senator's Walk, and visiting Crisita. the new building is rising slowly from the old earth...
but even the daffodils can't escape the march of progress.