(Image by Dennis Hodges. More on his work below)
Climbing up the Gloss Mountains, I considered the plight of the Cherokee to whom the US allocated this land in 1835. We began taking it from them again within a generation.
How did that feel? How did they actually stand up and face their children—by culture, the next seven generations?
In 1893, thousands of settlers lined up to claim a parcel of Cherokee land. The Oklahomans whose ancestors made a claim and kept it are proud. They celebrate the Cherokee Strip Land Run with street parades and community festivals. Surely those brave men and women deserve to be recognized for doggedly withstanding the horrors of the West to ensure land ownership for their own future generations.
But how do their descendents cope with knowing the land was stolen? No matter how you look at it, their gain came on the blood-stained backs of Cherokee families.
That disconnect, that unresolved moral tension is what makes the Land Run still resonate with me today.
Too much fiction and biography tries to understand everything and resolve all the loose ends. Sometimes those unanswered, unfinished feelings build connections.
Dispatch from the Plaza Walls Mural Expo, a street art festival. I checked in with the art and artists three times as the work was being created. More images at http://artreviewoklahoma.org and on the WALLS of OKC’s Plaza District.
Review of Sharon Bolton’s latest is inside the current issue of Mystery Scene Magazine and review of Lisa Unger’s Ink and Bone from the last issue is now online at https://mysteryscenemag.com/reviews
Feature on artist Dennis Hodges’ brilliant exhibition highligting the eyes of politicians, “A Sense of His Soul,” at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum in OKC. A sample image is featured at the opening of this post, more in the article, but if you are near OKC, I recommend the exhibit.
Amid the current political hype, his work resonates. More at http://ovac-ok.org/art-focus-magazine/