November 30, 2007

Exhibit challenges happy history

Oklahoma artists create dialogue to discuss state's centennial"For mainstream Oklahoma, it's easier to go down the road where things are always pleasant and always happy," said Choctaw/Southern Cheyenne artist Tim Ramsey. "Just for that reason, it's a little bit harder to look at someone else and empathize with another history that you're not familiar with or that might be a little bit uncomfortable."

This "uncomfortable" history grows into evasive questions throughout much of the Oklahoma Centennial hoopla that in many cases are not attempted to be answered or are forgotten. What about the history of Oklahoma and Indian Territory before statehood or even before the Land Run of 1889? What about the allotment system that ultimately created Oklahoma? How about the effects of statehood and loss of land on Oklahoma's Native population today?

Oklahoma's Native artists will answer questions--and even ask new ones--with the exhibit "Current Realities: A Dialogue with the People," which began with its Nov. 9 opening, featuring work from more than 75 artists at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, 811 N. Broadway in Oklahoma City, running through Dec. 21.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Marching on Statehood Day and "Celebrating" 100 Years of Theft.

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