Re­-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay

jan 16 – feb 28
Concurrent with St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary commemoration, artists Emily Arthur, Marwin Begaye and John Hitchcock present a curatorial project which metaphorically retraces the history of seventy­‐two American Indians who were forcibly taken from their homes in Salt Fork, OK, and transported by train to St. Augustine in 1875. The United States War Department imprisoned Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, and Caddo leaders, under the control of Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt, at Fort Marion (renamed Castillo de San Marcos in 1942) from 1875­ to 1878. Here, Lieutenant Pratt developed the assimilation methods of control that defined a century of government policy. Assimilation as a political CEAM Chris Pappan_Through the Shadow of Cahokia copy 2strategy is defined as the total eradication of one culture by another, by force. The imprisonment method was institutionalized in the federal off‐reservation boarding school policy, in place in the United States until the 1930s. The central boarding school example was authored at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania (1879) where Lieutenant Pratt coined the phrase “Kill the Indian, save the man.” Ten years later, in 1885, five-hundred and thirty Chiricahua Apache men, women, and children – including the family of the Apache leader, Geronimo – were imprisoned in Fort Marion, initiating twenty-seven years of prisoner of war status. The curators asked seventy­‐two artists to respond to the experience by creating an individual work on paper in the same dimensions as the historic ledger drawings made at Fort Marion from 1875 to 1878. The exhibition is a contemporary response to an historical experience still held intact within American Indian communities through oral history and art. The artists selected include Native Americans, non‐Natives and descendants from both periods of imprisonment. By engaging these historical events, the artists offer an indigenous perspective of our shared history. The traveling exhibition of contemporary works on paper features various printmaking methods with drawing, collage and photography, and includes artists such as Jaune Quick‐to‐See Smith, Shan Goshorn, Mel Chin, Edgar Heap‐of‐Birds, Alison Saar and Monte Yellow Bird, Sr. A related symposium will take place on Thurs., Feb. 12. Artists and scholars will speak about the exhibition in a contemporary context and how the exhibition responds to historical events. This exhibition and symposium are supported through a grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. For further information please visit www.reridinghistory.org. Each event is free and open to the public. The Crisp‐Ellert Art Museum, 48 Sevilla Street, St. Augustine, (904) 819‐6282, www.flagler.edu/crispellert.

Author: Arbus

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