THE ART OF NECESSITY
Art of the Hills’ NEW name
ART & BUSINESS
ART AND THE NEW DEAL SOUTH DAKOTA LEGEND OSCAR HOWE HOW NECESSITY CHANGED INDIAN ART
ART & HEALTH
HOW MUSIC AND ART HEAL FEATURING STREET SYMPHONY
Art & SCIENCE
JOE DAVIS: FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH
HOW WRITING SAVED LIVES
HILL CITY & ART FEATURING THE 6TH ANNUAL Sculpture in The Hills ART SHOW AND SALE With artist catalog
Q&A with DALE LAMPHERE
Dale Lamphere Sculpture Tickets only $10 each 3 for $25 Winner will be drawn on Sept. 21, 2013, during Backstage Pass
Back Stage Pass September 21, 2013 A behind-the-scenes “studio crawl” glimpsing prominent visual artists at work in Hill City.
Raffle tickets available at locations throughout Hill City or call: 605-574-2810 • www.hillcityarts.org 2
Twisted Pine Gallery
Pronghorns by Kevin Haller
45th Annual Red Cloud Indian
Wade Patton (Oglala Lakota) Quilt Square 1 and 2, 2012
June 2 - August 11, 2013
the heritage center
100 Mis s ion Driv e P i n e R i d g e , S D 5 7 7 7 0 w w w . r e d c l o u d s c h o o l . o r g / t h e h e r i t a g e c e n t e r 6 0 5 / 8 6 7 8 2 5 7
Dakota Nature & Art
216 Main Street, Hill City
605.574.2868 www.dakotanature.com Original Art, Bronzes, Prints, Artisan Jewelry, Rugs
Badlands at their Best
“Badlands on the Castle Trail, #2
36 x 48
Canvas Giclees at James Van Nuys Gallery 516 Sixth Street, Rapid City 605.343.2449 jamesvannuys.com
Volume 7 Issue 1
THE ART OF NECESSITY ISSUE
3 Art & Business
From the Editor How Art Impacts Our Lives The Business of Art: Art as Work During the WPA Plus:The South Dakota Federal Art Project, by Lesta Turchen The Making of a Legend: Oscar Howe
14 by Edward Welch
Reclaiming the New Deal
15 by Marcia Mitchell
The Art of Business: Necessity & Indian Art
16 by Craig Howe
Putting Money Where Dreams Are
20 Galleries Supporting Artists, by Kristin Donnan Standard Art & Health
Taking it to the Streets: Healing with Music
24 By Kristin Donnan Standard & Marcia Mitchell One Life at a Time
27 Art in Therapeutic Settings, by Ariadne Albright Art & Science
28 With Artist-Scientist Joe Davis, by Kristin Donnan Standard
32 Sanity in Hell, by Kristin Donnan Standard
Small Town, Big Art Perspective
Tapping for their Lives
Hill City Special Section Featuring the Sculpture in the Hills Show Catalog Dale Lamphere On Necessity
44 by Kristin Donnan Standard
On the cover: Detail from a WPA mural on the Wilbur J. Cohen Building in Washington, DC—the building originally housing the agencies expanded or created under the New Deal. Painter unknown; photographer Carol M. Highsmith. Photo Call Number: LCDIG-highsm-03795, from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divison.
OF ART OF THE NE CE HILL S’ SS NEW ITY NA ME ART SOU & BU TH DAK ART HOW AN NEC OTA LEG D THE SIN ES ESS ITY NEW END S OSC CHA DEA AR HO L NG ED WE IND IAN ART ART HO FEATURW MU SIC & HE AL AN ING STR EET D ART TH SYM HEA L PHO NY JOE AR DAV IS: FRO T & M HEA SC IEN VEN TO EARCE TH LIT HOW WR ITIN ER AT G SAV UR E ED LIVE HI LL S SCU LPTU CI TY FEA RE IN THE TUR ING & AR HILL S THE T 6TH ART AN NU SHO W WIT AL H ART AN D IST CAT SAL E Q& A
H DALPE CT E LAM IVE PHE RE
THE ART OF NECESSITY It’s easy—too easy; it’s a knee-jerk reaction—to predict the outcome of a discussion about the importance for the artist of art-making. Conversely, in this magazine issue, we discuss the other side of the coin: where art and necessity impact others—the audience, society, the suffering, the curious. Today we know that art literally, materially, physiologically, economically, and emotionally changes our bodies, our experience, and our world. We begin with America’s most expansive effort to engage artists in creating public artwork—when artists needed jobs and communities needed uplifting. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) and its several off-shoots literally changed the face of America during the Great Depression. Several elements of this process are covered here, from the New Deal’s big picture (“Art as Work During the WPA,” page 8), to how the WPA impacted our region (“South Dakota Federal Art Project,” page 13), to one of our Great Plains legends, Oscar Howe (page 14), to the government’s latest efforts at reclaiming New Deal Art (page 15). Also crucial to a discussion of “necessity” is how Native American art changed materially with cross-cultural exposure—both in what was depicted and how a new marketplace developed (“Necessity & Indian Art,” page 16). Native artwork helped Native artists survive— and still does (“Putting Money Where Dreams Are,” page 20). A more recent relationship with necessity comes with research into art and health—now a global focus for healthcare facilities, scientists, therapists, aid workers, architects, artists, and others who have seen first-hand the benefits of creativity on body, mind, and spirit. We meet two artists who help people every day: Robert Vijay Gupta, a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (“Taking it to the Streets,” page 24); and, closer to home, Ariadne Albright, the Art Program Coordinator for Sanford Vermillion (“One Life at a Time,” page 27). Then we explore an area where many of us forget that art has a place: in the world of science. Through a discussion with maverick Artist/Scientist Joe Davis—of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University—we learn how art and science are the same thing. Two parts of a whole (“Exo-Hexahedral Awareness,” page 28). Another world where art might seem foreign is the “Hanoi Hilton.” However, forty years after his release from there, Retired General John Borling shares his story of surviving more than six years of captivity in Vietnam—thanks to poetry (“Tapping for Their Lives,” page 32). During paradigm shifts, strife, challenge, change—art comes to our rescue, allows us to process, communicates our impressions, creates dialog. It is the universal language. Art is what makes us human—and we celebrate the part artists play in the dialog. We chat with our most recent recipient of the Governor’s Award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement, sculptor Dale Lamphere (“Perspective,” page 44). Finally, art is fun, vibrant, thrilling, challenging, educational, collaborative, troubling, revealing, fiscal, healing—and so much more. It needs to be shared. Therefore, as our region’s voice for arts and culture, it is necessary that this publication make itself as accessible as possible. In response to your feedback, we’ve changed our name to broaden the sense of our scope—now High Plains Art (thanks to Art of the Hills for seven years of a solid title). We’re also hearing you and exploring a stronger online presence. Follow us at hillcityarts.com, Hill City Arts Council on Facebook, and hillcityarts on Twitter—and here, starting on page 36! Who knows: by next year we might be linking through our server on Mars.
Kristin Donnan Standard, Editor Painting by the celebrated Robert Penn (Sicangu/Winnebago, 1946–1999). This piece, as was common in both his abstract and representational work, reflected traditional Indian themes (such themes are discussed on page 16 by Dr. Craig Howe). As a young man in 1966, Penn became a work-study assistant to Oscar Howe (see page 14 for a story on his nationally renowned Yanktonai teacher). Image courtesy of The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School.
EDITOR Kristin Donnan Standard
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Marcia Mitchell Lesta Turchen
DESIGNER Sid Spelts
DESIGN CONSULTANTS Ray Berberich Jessica Simons
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sid Spelts Winston Barclay
PUBLISHER Hill City Area Arts Council
BOARD OF DIRECTORS K.D. Standard, President Lesta Turchen, Vice President Peg Arnold, Treasurer Ron Walker, Secretary Randy Berger Merlene Broer Tom Frank Sarah Kay King Peter Larson Wally Matush Lori Nonnast Pat Schulte Sid Spelts
INQUIRIES For customer service or subscription queries, changes and renewals, contact:
High Plains Art P.O. Box 405, Hill City, SD 57745 firstname.lastname@example.org 605-574-2810 High Plains Art is currently published annually, with a Spring release. Subscriptions mailed within the U.S. are $12 per year; to Canada & Mexico, $18; to Europe and Australia, $25.
hill city Arts Council Headquarters: PO Box 321 â€˘ 23935 Hwy 385 Hill City, SD 57745 www.hillcityarts.org 605-574-2810
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THE BUSINESS OF ART
ART AS WORK DURING By Lesta Turchen
THE W.P.A. 2013
“I promise you a better life,” Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed during his first inaugural address—during a time when a better life is exactly what Americans craved. Knee-deep in the economic disaster of the Great Depression, FDR looked to New Deal programs designed to impact the skyrocketing unemployment of the early 1930s. These initiatives changed social policies and reshaped America. The New Deal was based on the belief that the American people are an invaluable resource, and that individuals could contribute valuable creativity to a depressed marketplace using the arts, architecture, and design. Several new agencies were formed to target specific areas of need; they included: •
National Recovery Act (NRA), the purpose of which was to regulate industry and combat the severely deflated economy. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided unskilled manual-labor jobs for unmarried men; the work related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a program targeted at the economic development and management of a region particularly impacted by the Depression. Works Projects—later changed to “Works Progress”—Administration (WPA), the largest of the New Deal agencies, which provided opportunities for millions of people to carry out www.hillcityarts.org
public works projects, including road and building construction. Many of the most famous, although smaller, WPA-related programs employed artists, writers, performers, and other creative workers. All New Deal programs provided meaningful opportunities for people to earn a living wage.
THE ARTS TAKE CENTER STAGE Economic disaster during the 1930s hardly seemed promising for public support of the arts. Yet the economic crisis converged with the appearance of strong personalities in key government positions—people who were willing to experiment. With this particular mix, substantial financial commitment to the arts was demonstrated in programs sponsored by the Departments of Labor, Interior, Treasury, and Defense—although not without controversy. Artists picketed for freedom from censorship; political opponents decried the waste of money; and critics characterized the WPA as “We Poke Along” or “Whistle, Piss, and Argue.” In a 1934 Gallup Poll, nearly twenty-five percent of respondents ranked the WPA as the worst part of FDR’s administration—while twenty-eight percent ranked it as the administration’s greatest accomplishment. The “American scene and ingenuity” became important to Americans in this time of doubt and desperation. Beyond all else, people needed to remember who they were, and why; they needed hope, and a future—and so the arts were called in. Among emergency
measures enacted during the administration’s first 100 days was a Treasury earmark for $1 million—to adorn federal buildings and employ artists. Artist Edward Bruce administered the first two successive arts programs with this dictate. The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) ran for just one year, and still employed 4,000 artists who produced almost 16,000 items of art or craft. Next, the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP)—within the Section of Fine Arts in the Treasury Department—took over, placing art in federal buildings from 1935-1938. Appropriations for new federal buildings required that one percent of construction costs be set aside for decoration. The resulting construction of post offices and court houses meant new public works of art in every state, which in FDR’s words were “native, human, eager, and alive…about things [people] know and look at often and have touched and loved.” TRAP hosted a 48-State Competition in 1939 that generated 3,000 entries; one winner was placed in a post office in each state. In 1935, President Roosevelt selected Harry Hopkins to head the WPA, and under his direction a series of divisions was created— with the hope of building new audiences and providing the foundation for the future livelihood of America’s artists. Known as Federal Project Number One, these programs shared a congressional mandate “to hold up a mirror to America”; combined, they produced a portrait of a nation: Federal Art Project (FAP), the visual arts arm, operated from 1935 to 1941 and was administered by Holger Cahill. Some
PREVIOUS PAGE: Study for “Wheat in the Shock” by Matthew E. Ziegler; the final mural can still be seen in the Flandreau, South Dakota, post office. Study in oil on canvas, mounted on paperboard. Image No. 1965.18.4, Smithsonian American Art Museum archives. LEFT: In May 1936 Arthur Rothstein took the WPA’s most controversial photo (second from left) while in the South Dakota Badlands. Critics termed the image a fake, because the artist manipulated the position of the steer’s skull in this series. Image No’s: 8b27694a, 8b27696a, 8b7697a, 8b27704a, and 8b27761a, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; Farm Security Administration / Office of Black-and-White Negatives.
FAP works are still considered among the most significant public art in America. Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) funded written work and supported writers, and compiled local and oral histories, ethnographies, and other works. It operated federally from 1935 to 1939 under the direction of Henry Alsperg, and continued until 1943 with state sponsorship. Federal Music Project (FMP), which operated from 1936 to 1943, employed musicians, conductors, and composers who taught, performed, conducted research, and created 34 new orchestras. It was administered by Nikolai Sokoloff. Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was administered by Hallie Flanagan from 1935 to 1939, and focused on theater and other live performances. Its combined purpose was to employ artists, entertain impoverished families, and create relevant art. The Historical Records Survey (HRS), although not art-specific, also was a project under the umbrella of the WPA from 1935 to 1943. Its purpose was to discover, index, and preserve significant government records for research—including vital statistics, book and newspaper indexes, bibliographies, and other archives. Holger Cahill, the Federal Art Project chief, was an expert on American folk art. He supported painters, sculptors, graphic artists, craftsmen, and art teachers who depicted the average person and everyday life. Slightly more than half of those employed by the FAP were crafts people and commercial and applied artists; slightly less than half were in the fine arts.
Eligibility for FAP employment depended on need. This tenet excluded such renowned artists as Thomas Hart Benton from what he considered, “one of the most interesting occurrences of our national life— the entrance of the federal government into the support of art….” Still, FAP-supported artists who later gained national recognition included Jackson Pollock, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, and Stuart Davis. FAP operated in all 48 states and the art was organized in categories: easel painting, murals, sculpture, posters, prints, and drawings.
WHAT ARTISTS CREATED The work commissioned during these
few years was so broad in scope and number that it is difficult to imagine it today. However, an inspiring summary of some of the programs’ outcomes is listed below: The Farm Security Administration (FSA) sent photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and Arthur Rothstein throughout the country to document the life and plight of Americans. Many of the resulting collection of 164,000 black-and-white photographs recorded the impact of the Great Depression, rural life, and the Dust Bowl. The National Park Service employed Ansel Adams to create a photo-mural depicting nature as protected in the national parks to be placed in the Department of the Interior building in Washington, DC. Although the photo-mural never was completed, Adams took 226 photographs of America’s national parks that are preserved
in the National Archives Still Picture Branch. The CCC also employed artists to record life at the camps through easel art and sculpture. The Federal Writers Project (FWP), with its nearly 7,500 writers, produced more than 300 publications that recorded people’s lives, including the well-known American Guide Series. Oral histories and interviews preserved first-hand accounts and revealed slavery through the words of more than 2,300 former slaves. Nearly 3,000 interviews are posted on the Library of Congress’s American Memory web site, including Rose Wilder Lane—Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter—who remembered: “It was a saying in the Dakotas that the Government bet a quarter section against fifteen dollars and five years’ hard work that the land would starve a man out in less than five years. My father won the bet. It took seven successive years of complete crop failure, with work, weather, and sickness that wrecked his health permanently, and interest rates of 36 percent on money borrowed to buy food, to dislodge us from that land.” The Federal Music Project (FMP) at times produced more than 4,000 orchestral, opera, and chamber music events per week across the country. Performances were held, “not alone in symphony halls, parks and schools, but even in railway stations”— in any setting that accommodated people. The FTP launched in New York City with a free circus performance for children from orphanages and families on relief. The most politically controversial of the Federal One projects, it produced 1,130 plays during its four-year history. 2013
Federal Art Project (FAP) projects included sculpture, paintings, murals, photography, and posters, among other art forms. The posters were created through silkscreen, lithograph, or woodcut, and became particularly useful in publicizing health and safety programs, cultural events, educational offerings, and community activities. FAP funding also covered the Index of American Design that depicted America’s arts and crafts—carving, ceramics, costume, furniture, glassware, metalwork, and textiles—in more than 2,300 watercolor plates that are now part of the Smithsonian collections. More than 55,000 students, children, and adults attended art classes and 103 community art centers were established in 20 states.
THE LEGACY With the advent of World War II,
WPA workers flowed into defense jobs and construction of roads and airports. The Federal Writers’ Project became the Writer’s Unit of the War Services Division of the WPA, and the Federal Arts Project became the Graphic Section of that division. In a short time, with unemployment nationwide at less than five percent, the rationale for the WPA disappeared. FDR formally ended the program on June 30, 1943. A few New Deal programs continued after the war—and some, or their legacies, remain alive today. Examples include: The Social Security Administration (SSA), which began in 1935 as the Social Security Board, is a current subject of scrutiny—as well as an emotionally charged political and economic subject. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), currently part of the National Labor Relations Board, was first established in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers. The NLRA encouraged collective bargaining and curtailed certain private-sector labor and management practices seen to harm the general welfare of workers, businesses, and the U.S. economy. The Rural Electrification Administration (REA) also was created in 1935 and then later reorganized as a division of the 12
US Department of Agriculture. The REA administered electric and telephone programs for rural American farms. In 1994 the administration’s functions were assumed by the Rural Utilities Service. As for the WPA—which included both the public works projects and art-related initiatives—did it provide FDR’s “better life”? To the post-war generation, its physical legacy was so common that it went nearly unnoticed. The first answer to the question is best told in numbers. The overall program employed more than 8.5 million people who built: 650,000 miles of roads; 78,000 bridges; 125,000 civilian and military buildings; 800 airports (built, improved, or enlarged); 700 miles of airport runways. The WPA served almost 900 million hot lunches to schoolchildren and operated 1,500 nursery schools. It presented 225,000 concerts to 150 million audience members; performed plays, vaudeville acts, puppet shows, and circuses for 30 million; and produced almost 475,000 works of art, at least 276 full-length books, and 701 pamphlets. In eight years (1935-1943) Federal One spent approximately $40 million, and employed more than 40,000 workers at an average weekly pay of $53. While various official sources differ slightly in the final analysis and figures, workers are reported to have created more than 2,500 murals, nearly 18,000 pieces of sculpture, some 100,000 paintings, and nearly 240,000 prints. The Library of Congress has preserved 908 of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has 3,000 items from this legacy. In 1998, the National New Deal Preservation Association formed “to promote the identification, documentation, preservation, and education of people about the New Deal visual and performing arts, literature, crafts, structures, and environmental projects.” Still, the WPA received mixed reviews at the time—and remains a subject often viewed from political perspectives. Some believed that WPA initiatives filled a need in a way that was less expensive—and certainly netted more products—than “hand-outs.”
Others thought that public works employees were “shovel leaners,” or that a federal project for theater productions simply verged on communism. Regardless of these differences of perspective, the WPA provided the largestscale response to devastating poverty that the United States has ever enacted—and for artists, it embodied the “Art of Necessity.”
South Dakota Federal Art Project (1939-1942) BY LESTA TURCHEN
Despite being warned that South Dakota was a “cultural Siberia” and that “people with art training were scarce as hens’ teeth,” Andre Boratko left his position as assistant state supervisor of art centers for the Minnesota Art Project to become supervisor of the South Dakota Federal Art Project. His experiences illustrate how the WPA program worked “on the ground.” First, WPA personnel surveyed the state’s artists, searching for unemployed people eighteen to forty-five years old, although age exceptions could be made for those with special skills. By March 1, 1939, twelve available workers had been identified; their first workspace was a studio at the YMCA in Mitchell. Later, the group moved to the second floor of the Armory, and at its peak employed forty-four artists. Boratko spent the first three months identifying each worker’s particular talent. For example, John and Tom Saul, sixtyfive-year-old Sioux Indians from the Crow Creek Reservation, were to create a portfolio of Indian designs that younger artists could follow for larger designs. William Lackey, nineteen years old and from Faith, showed a flare for drawing cartoons. Annette Wilcox, from Leola, created simple murals that could be used in grade schools. Paul Mountain designed plaques. Paul Kean, from Elkton, did lettering and screen processing. Fred Hill, a construction worker with no art training,
made sculpture. Jess Cattrell, a sixty-year-old stone cutter and mason, “very readily took to casting cement sculpture.” The first six months were spent in training. Every morning Boratko taught basic elements of design, color, and drawing. Every afternoon the workers applied what they had learned to specific assignments. Armed with samples of the work of South Dakota’s WPA artists, Boratko began a promotional campaign by contacting school superintendents. According to South Dakota project records, Eureka ordered elementary school murals, plus a “complete set of thirtysix carved figures six inches in height that represented the activity in a Sioux Indian Village, and two 27 x 47-inch plaques of Pioneer Life by Paul Mountain.” After that, projects developed rapidly. Universities, cities, county courthouses— they all employed WPA artists and received sculptures, murals, and more. Even the Inventory of County Archives in South Dakota included original artwork on the covers. Dedication ceremonies for many of these WPA projects, as well as art exhibits, lectures, newspaper publicity, and an Art Week generated statewide recognition. During this time, several celebrated murals were created or co-created by Oscar Howe, who is profiled on the following pages. Then, when WWII began, all South Dakota non-war projects closed down. From
June 1942 to January 1943, the South Dakota Art Project became part of the War Service Project, Central Services Unit, Art Phase. Many artists left for defense work; those who remained designed and created “visual aids for the war effort,” including more than 500 nutrition posters and 100 insecticide charts for the Home Extension Division at South Dakota State College. For the War Information Center, workers designed, built, and maintained a display consisting of a bulletin board, pamphlet rack, attendant’s desk and chair, maps, posters, and various visual aids. The final project included converting and decorating—in a chartreuse and coral color scheme with yellow and blue trim—the main floor of the Mitchell Armory for a Soldier’s Recreation Center. It was finished with Native designs, maps, a plat of Mitchell, and an honor roll. The National Archives include reviews of the opening ceremony, in which soldiers remarked that “it was the nicest center they had seen anywhere.” With this, the South Dakota Art Project was completed, and Andre Boratko signed the final report. It was January 6, 1943. Lesta Turchen, PhD, has served as President of the University of Houston–Victoria, and was Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC. Her most recent position was as System Chief Academic Officer for the South Dakota Board of Regents, from which she retired. She currently serves as President of the South Dakota State Library Board, and Vice-President of the Hill City Arts Council. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: WPA Federal Theater poster advertising “Native Ground” by Virgil Geddes. Poster art by Emanuel DeColas; stamped January 5, 1939, from the Library of Congress archives. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM & THIS PAGE: Two of seven panel studies painted by Oscar Howe in preparation for murals he created for the Corn Palace, in Mitchell,. Howe became a prominent and soughtafter South Dakota artist after his work first appeared in significant public art installations during the WPA period; these images were created in 1955. Images used with permission of the Oscar Howe family.
LEFT: Detail of “Sun and Rain Clouds over the Hills,” Oscar Howe’s first WPA assignment. The 1941 project involved painting a mural on the challenging inside surface of the arched dome of the Carnegie Library (now the Carnegie Resource Center) in Mitchell, South Dakota. Using the traditional Dakota skin painting technique, Howe drew the cardinal directions in an abstract pattern that symbolized the prayer for rain; this pattern repeated across all four quadrants. Photo by Winston Barclay.
T H E MA K I N G O F A L EG EN D : OSC A R H OW E BY EDWARD WELCH
In less than a decade, from 1935 to 1943, including murals for Pollock High School a generation of New Deal-era artists shaped and the Davison County Courthouse—as well South Dakota’s visual landscape. From county as the Carnegie Library dome, shown above. seat court houses to federal post offices to downtown auditoriums and city hall offices, THINKING BIG mural paintings from the Works Progress Howe desired to visually represent the Administration (WPA) richly document the stories of the Dakota people, and to share visual narrative of Northern Plains pioneer a Native American perspective of the area’s and Native American life. history. One important and ambitious WPA One of South Dakota’s most enduring art- project that supported this wish was a tenists—and one who came of age as a painter mural job—two sets of five murals on each of during this time—was Oscar Howe. Born on two enormous walls—for the city auditorium the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in 1915, in Mobridge, South Dakota. Howe demonstrated talent early in life. He The proposed wall area measured attended both Dorothy Dunn’s art program approximately one hundred feet long by at the Santa Fe Indian School from 1933 to sixteen feet high on both the north and south 1938, and the Fort Sill Indian Art Center in walls. The bottom of the murals would start Lawton, Oklahoma, where he studied mural ten feet off the ground, making the top of painting in 1940. At Fort Sill he was one of the painting surface approximately twentyseveral twenty-something Native artists— six feet off the ground. Even today, the size including Woody Crumbo, Dick West, and of these walls would alarm any seasoned Fred Kabotie—who trained under artist and muralist, but that wasn’t his only challenge. educator Olle Nordmark as part of the South Howe reportedly managed to borrow a local Dakota Artists Project, a division of the WPA. contractor’s wooden scaffolding, which As a WPA artist, Howe and others provided a necessary—although rather participated in several significant projects, unsteady—platform. 14
Howe’s plan for the north wall was to document several events illustrating the “History along the Missouri River.” The five subjects included: Sacajawea and the Lewis and Clark Expedition; the Fool Soldiers Rescue after the Dakota War of 1862; a treaty-signing moment between appointed members of the Dakota Sioux and officials of the United States government; a Christian service featuring a priest and several Dakota Indians receiving prayer; and an individual Dakota Indian in prayer on a hill, perhaps a reference to Medicine Knoll near where Howe was raised. The five south wall murals, collectively to be titled “Ceremonies of the Sioux,” addressed ceremonial features of Dakota life in representational and traditional terms. Their subjects included: a Sun Dance (Wiwanyang Wacipi); Victory Dance (Waktegli Wacipi); Courtship and Marriage; a Hunkapi (“Making Relatives”) Ceremony; and an illustration of White Buffalo Calf Woman (Ptehincalaskawin) and the Sacred Buffalo Calf Pipe (Cannupa Wakan). After several weeks’ work, Howe completed the first five murals at the end of May in 1942. However, before he could begin on the south wall, he was ordered to report to basic training at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Being drafted was not a surprise for any able-bodied male during those times—however, the community of Mobridge would have none of it. According to a local newspaper report, several Mobridge socialites requested that the United States Army grant Howe a furlough to complete his mural assignment. The man was, after all, an artist in the middle of an important local project. “The people of Mobridge wanted their murals just as badly as the army wanted Oscar,” wrote John R. Milton in Oscar Howe: The Story
of an American Indian, “and they managed to get a short postponement for their artist. Even so, the job was almost impossible.” Howe was ultimately granted a two-week extension, during which he “worked twenty hours a day,” explained Milton, “sleeping on the floor of the auditorium, eating sandwiches and drinking coffee which two boys brought to him.” Several artists worked with Howe on the Mobridge murals, including: WPA project Supervisor Andre Boratko; artists Paul Mountain and Paul Kean; Ruth Swan, who blocked in the mural’s base colors; and Tom and John Saul (Yanktonai Dakota) of Fort Thompson. The Saul brothers were selftaught artists and also relatives to Howe and his family at Crow Creek; they contributed
geometric designs on the borders separating the murals and on the frieze of the auditorium. In 1991, to honor Howe’s important contributions, the Mobridge City Auditorium was renamed the Scherr-Howe Arena. Cohonorees Jim and Bill Scherr were Mobridge brothers who wrestled at the 1988 Olympics. Edward Welch, JD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He specializes in: the history of Native America, South Dakota, and the Northern Plais; historiography and Research Methodology for Native American Studies; and Native American and American Art. One of his writing focus areas is the life and art of Oscar Howe.
RECLAIMING THE NEW DEAL By Marcia Mitchell
Picture this: Sixty years ago your grandfather, a Federal government employee, rescued a painting from a trash heap behind the building where he worked. The discarded landscape, an oil on canvas by an artist long unknown, became yours following your grandfather’s death. Or not. Not—if it was a piece of WPA art. The Government Service Administration (GSA) is in the process of identifying and cataloguing hundreds of thousands of “moveable” works of art commissioned under the supervision of the WPA’s Federal Art Project. The goal is “to provide a centralized resource of information about New Deal artwork that is readily available to museum professionals, the academic community, art conservators, and the public at large.” More than 20,000 artworks have been located. However, the effort is more than a massive inventory project. It also includes recovery of “lost, misplaced, and stolen” works. The project was launched after decades of ignoring, and failing to track, a remarkable collection of work by New Deal-era artists. Much of the WPA artwork was not yet placed in buildings when America entered WWII, and therefore countless pieces were
shipped to warehouses for storage. Other works were given away, trashed, or sold. Some paintings, labeled as “surplus,” went at auction for four cents a pound. One plumbing contractor purchased canvases to use as pipe insulation, but the oil paint smelled on hot pipes. Bales of easel art were sold to secondhand stores, where art dealers purchased them and then resold paintings for $3 to $5. Murals survived more intact, and are being rediscovered and restored. Legal ownership of Federal Art Project artwork created many decades ago is not a subject for debate. It was commissioned, and paid for, by the US government, an entity that cannot “abandon” property it owns. An official fact sheet on ownership of WPA/FPA art declares that, “It is well settled that title to property of the United States cannot be divested by negligence, delay, laches, mistake, or unauthorized actions by subordinate officials.” It is in the private sector where the legality of ownership causes problems. Permission to retain and exhibit artwork in responsible non-Federal repositories—such as museums and institutions—is granted once required provenance is provided to the GSA for
cataloging purposes. But where work is held in private hands, efforts may be made to recover that work, no matter how it was obtained and at what cost. Thus, properly identified WPA works once given to employees, or inherited, or purchased at auctions, yard sales, or antique stores are considered to be illegally held by private citizens. Holders of art so acquired are asked to return it to Uncle Sam or to donate it to an approved institution. Further, attempts to sell WPA art have been stopped in the process, with the seller asked to retain title until ownership is determined. It’s an interesting situation. On one hand, the government is creating an ambitious and historically relevant catalog that will provide invaluable data on a treasure trove of art it created years ago. On the other hand, for decades the government’s attention was not focused on the products that resulted from WPA programs, which allowed other entities or private citizens to conserve these materials, often at personal cost. While we are told not to expect inspections of private art collections, still this reclamation project invites debate. Have those who acquired WPA work, by means assumed to be legitimate, stumbled onto the next New Deal controversy? 2013 2013
THE ART OF BUSINESS
NECESSITY & INDIAN ART By Craig Howe
It comes as no surprise that “Indian art” is not just one thing. Of course, various nations have produced art that reflects their own sensibilities, or the materials in their environments— but when considering the “Art of Necessity,” a specific element of Indian art emerges. With regard to Plains Indian art, the influence of westerners—or, more accurately, the artistic responses to interactions between immigrant and Native cultures—created new visual lenses through which Native experiences were viewed. Specifically, as the fabric of Native life changed dramatically in response to the presence and practices of immigrants, Native artistic expression likewise necessarily changed. Products of this change have become staples of what people now consider as “Indian art.” This new art was an expression of new “necessities.” One such necessity was a desire to accurately record the ways of life that were being banned and seemingly buried forever beneath the boots and books of immigrants. The intended audiences of these efforts could be contemporaneous immigrants, or maybe future generations of Native descendants. If the former, then the artists were conveying the stark yet exciting differences between immigrant and Native cultures; if the latter, then the intent was to provide a source from which the artists’ descendants and relatives could draw upon to ignite cultural renaissances. Another necessity was to generate income in the new currency-based immigrant economy foisted onto Native nations. In this case, art shifted from a necessity of culture to a necessary commodity.
CULTURAL NECESSITY Before the arrival of settlers onto the Plains, when Native nations were in control of their ways of life, art was a cultural necessity. For example, hunters marked their arrows to avoid disputes over who shot and killed each animal. Women marked their storage containers to identify whose food was inside. Prestige and authority were conveyed through adornment and design. These examples illustrate the identification and differentiation functions of art. Such art served to mitigate social conflicts. Art in those contexts also served to say something about individuals in relation to the values of their social groups. Examples of this type of art are representational drawings that men made on dew liners. These tanned hide liners were fastened on the inside of tipi poles and served a number of architectural functions; they acted as wind screens, privacy curtains, insulation barriers, and structural stabilizers. They also served as canvases upon which a man might record his courageous deeds and display them for others to see. These representational drawings or paintings belonged to the man, just as did his arrows. But whereas the markings on his arrows merely indicated that he owned them, his dew liner drawings recorded achievements in his life that others familiar with the tradition could “read.” These images provided a glimpse into his personal history. Drawing also served to record the history of entire communities. Among Lakotas, for example, each extended family, or tiospaye, might create a “winter count” in which a simple glyph was drawn to represent a memorable event experienced by members of the tiospaye, and by which that year was identified. For instance, “The Year the Stars Fell” memorialized the Leonid meteor storm of November 13, 1833, an event that appears on every Lakota winter count (see Page 18 for an example of this glyph). Each year the winter count keeper drew a new glyph of an event chosen by the elderly men of the tiospaye. The glyphs were arranged in a fixed sequence determined by the winter count keeper, and were initially recorded with natural pigments on animal hides. The number of glyphs on a winter count corresponded to the number of years the winter count covered. Some winter counts had more than 200 glyphs, meaning they spanned more than two centuries of history. Winter counts were not autobiographical like the dew liner drawings, nor were they idiosyncratic artistic expressions of their keepers. Instead, winter counts were mediums for recording, remembering, and recounting the local histories of particular communities or extended families. Their diagrammatic glyphs were created by winter count keepers to
of traditional Kiowa cultural practices. Decades later, at the onset of World War I, school children in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation also were paid to make drawings. A collection of their drawings is in the Newberry Library, an independent research facility for the humanities and social sciences in Chicago, Illinois. In this latter case, the money reportedly was used by their families to purchase food during a period of crop failure and starvation. This income literally enabled families to survive. serve as mnemonics for these selected events. The winter count keepers were responsible for drawing the glyphs, remembering the name of the events the glyphs represented, remembering each narrative, and safeguarding the winter counts. Then, when called upon, they displayed the winter counts—and entertained and educated community members through engaging storytelling. They could touch on an event glyph, then jump to others in a creative sequence of linked event narratives. As such, winter count keepers were fundamentally orators and historians.
NECESSARY COMMODITY When Native peoples began interacting with immigrants to the Plains, art sometimes became a method of communicating, of sharing cultures and histories. Through these interactions, Native artists learned of new materials and thereby expanded their media beyond functional objects and hides. “Ledger art” is a familiar example because it was among the first artwork created on paper by Native artists of the Plains. The name comes from a primary source of drawing paper—ledger books—that Native artists acquired from traders, military and government personnel, and missionaries. Although ledger art was based on a new medium, it manifested traditional artistic sensibilities evident in the autobiographical and winter count artwork. For example, action generally was depicted as moving from right to left, and objects typically were
DIFFERENT AUDIENCES drawn in profile and appeared to float in space. Likewise, artists usually ignored the orientation of the books as well as the lines on the ledger pages; ledger books were in some sense seen as unlined hides on which to draw. And whereas traditional media such as bone and vegetative dies continued to be used, Native artists also used new media, including fountain pens, crayons, and watercolors. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Native nations and individuals were under extreme duress. The United States policy was to crush tribes and all traditional Native life ways, and to assimilate surviving Indians into American culture. This federal orientation was exemplified by an infamous saying by Captain Richard Henry Pratt, founder of Carlisle Indian Industrial School—the first off-reservation boarding school for Indian children. Pratt’s motto was: “Kill the Indian, save the man.” In addition to education, nearly every aspect of tribal cultures was prohibited then, including language, justice, subsistence, and spiritual practices. Ironically, Pratt had a direct influence on the development of ledger-style art as an economic commodity. In 1875 he transported 72 Kiowa prisoners from Indian Territory to Fort Marion, a federal prison in St. Augustine, Florida. There the prisoners were encouraged to make drawings and to sell them to prison visitors. The subjects of their ledger-style drawings were wide ranging, and included representations
Unlike contemporary ledger-style artist Donald Montileaux, Amos Bad Heart Bull and Luther Standing Bear wouldn’t call themselves “artists.” They did not make their living doing art. Their artwork drew on their experiences as Lakotas, and was intended to accurately represent Lakota history and traditional culture. For example, Bad Heart Bull (ca. 18691913)—who was a scout for the U. S. Army, and later became a cattleman in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as well as a tribal historian—did not make art for public sale. In fact, it is thought that he intended his work to be buried with him. However, Bad Heart Bull’s original narrative drawings of important events—including the murder of Crazy Horse—instead would be buried with his sister more than thirty years after his death. We know about Bad Heart Bull’s work today because a graduate student from the University of Nebraska named Helen Blish studied the images for her master’s thesis in art; they were photographed and later published by her professor. This unintended record allowed the work to become an important chapter in Lakota history. Other artists, such as Thunder Bear (see Page 19 for an example) created detailed depictions of esoteric cultural practices that were commissioned by interested scholars and academics. In these cases, the intended audience also was limited. Conversely, Standing Bear (1868-1939) intended to educate a wide audience with his ledger-style drawings. He had, after
all, been among the first students to attend Carlisle Indian School. Later he danced and rode horseback for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, starred in Western films— becoming a member of the Actor’s Guild— and published books intended to educate the public about Lakota culture and history. His drawings of traditional Lakota cultural practices were intended primarily to convey inside information to outsiders. It is unfortunate that discussion of Indian art necessarily entails an examination— however brief—of interactions between Native nations and the United States, and between Native artists and their nonNative audiences. But tribal arts were prohibited by immigrant culture from developing naturally. Therefore we can only try to imagine the trajectories of tribal art traditions if they had been able to continue as cultural necessities. Nevertheless, in today’s marketplace where art is a necessary commodity, many Native artists continue drawing from their tribal histories and cultures to say, “this belongs to me.” Their work speaks to the experience of being an American Indian, a tribal citizen. In so doing, it often critiques contemporary society, and in some cases, promotes tribal cultures. As such, art can serve a crucial an enduring cultural necessity. Craig Howe, PhD, is the founder and director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), an Indian-controlled, nonprofit research and education center committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them. CAIRNS is located in the Lacreek District of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Howe also is the former Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library in Chicago, as well as a chief collaborator in developing the inaugural exhibits of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
PAGE 16: A painting by Amos Bad Heart Bull depicting women observing the sun dance through the arbor.This is an unusual depiction, as most characters are facing away from the viewer. Photo by Sid Spelts; Image No. 10 [5a-1], reproduced from A Pictorgraphic History of the Oglala Sioux by Amos Bad Heart Bull, text by Helen H. Blish, by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1967, University of Nebraska Press.
THIS PAGE, TOP LEFT: Image by Luther Standing Bear depicting a male sun dancer with his traditional regalia and pipe. This image illustrates a more “educational” approach to artistic renderings of tribal culture, and is one in a series of such images on display at the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, St. Francis Mission, St. Francis, SD. Photo by Sid Spelts; reproduced with permission of the Museum.
OPPOSITE PAGE, LEFT: A detail from a paper copy of a winter count made by Battiste Good, a Sincangu living on the Rosebud Reservation in the 1880s. This winter count is atypical in that the action of the glyphs is left to right, the glyphs are arranged left to right and not in spirals, and they are dated. Good made this copy at the request of Army personnel, who sent it to the Smithsonian with explanations of the glyphs. Used with permission from the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, MS 2372 (08746801).
THIS PAGE, TOP RIGHT: Image by Thunder Bear, 1912, depicting a leader of the Sotka Society and detailing dress, regalia, and staff. Thunder Bear created several such “educational” illustrations that contrasted the identifying accoutrements of different Lakota societies. This image, War Insignia No. 14, is reproduced courtesy of History Colorado (Walker Collection, MSS #653, Scan #10041452).
OPPOSITE PAGE, RIGHT: A detail from a winter count depicting the 1833 Leonid meteor storm. The winter count is preserved in the archives at Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, St. Francis Mission, St. Francis, South Dakota. Photo by Sid Spelts; reproduced with permission of the Museum.
THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Chief High Elk, 3.5”x9” Prisma color pencil and India ink on a Stanley County Treasurer’s Receipt dated 4/14/14 by contemporary artist Donald Montileaux. Montileaux is known for his ledger-style art, and prefers to work with ledger books dated from 1870 to 1940 that are relevant to the area once inhabited by the Lakota people. Reproduced with permission; image courtesy of the artist.
including Jim Yellowhawk, Sonja Holy Eagle, Del Iron Cloud, JoAnne Bird, Don Montileaux, Mitchell Zephier, and Paul and Linda Szabo, among many others. This roster has allowed Prairie Star’s owners to reconsider their initial dreams. “We thought if we were in business for five years, we could sell $250,000 in art,” Boyd said. “But we have sold $4.1 million in art over 16 years to more than 21,000 people from around the world.” Because of this successful track record, the Boyds face one of the hardest transitions since they launched this gallery: how to prepare for their impending retirement. The couple is exploring alternatives for the gallery’s future—a future that includes serving their artists, providing authentic work for the public, and cross-cultural education. Prairie Star’s artists share Boyd’s education focus, and it shows in their work. For example, “Montileaux and Yellowhawk are depicting the loan rates—but a husband-and-wife team time frame when Indian people were living in boarding schools, and first making ledger art,” could not. “We were just going to buy and sell art Boyd said. “Today, grandkids are the new quilt and fulfill our personal mission to help with makers, and they need to know what came reconciliation,” Boyd said. “But when it came before them.” Boyd points out that while Prairie Star’s to finding the money to buy the inventory, we legacy must continue, it is not the only gallery decided it was better to mortgage our house than to take out a bank loan. We decided that or shop in the region that buys inventory. For if we trusted our instincts—and if we got real, example, Soldier Woman Art & Gift Gallery (soldierwomangallery.com) in Mission, high-quality work—it would be okay.” In 1996 and 1997, Boyd went to SD, also purchases almost everything it sells; reservations one at a time, and met artists by owner Linda Szabo says only her own family first contacting the tribal offices. “We met in members’ work is consigned. At Prairie Edge cafes,” she said. “Once I met with fifty people (prairieedge.com), in Rapid City, traditional in one day, and spent $10,000.” Eventually items such as beadwork and quillwork are artists found the Boyds—and the gallery they purchased outright; however, fine art, such as took over in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, called paintings and sculpture, is consigned. In St. Prairie Star. “We had invested $100,000 in art Francis, the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum’s (www.sfmission.org/store/) gift shop before we opened the door,” Boyd said. Prairie Star Gallery “combined teaching also buys its art outright. These and other businesses across the Great and helping Native people in a way no one in South Dakota had done before,” Boyd Plains recognize that Native artists need to explained, by focusing on working with as make a living—just as their ancestors did. And many families as possible. The gallery first just as they did in 1996, when Linda Boyd sat featured the work of about fifty families, and over coffee, writing that first stack of checks. —KDS over the years has purchased work from close to 1,000 families from more than a dozen tribes, mostly from the Northern Plains. Boyd runs down the Who’s-Who list of regional ABOVE: Prairie Star Gallery (prairiestar.com) photo by Native artists she has represented for years, Winston Barclay.
PUTTING MONEY WHERE DREAMS ARE Galleries SupportING Artists Linda Boyd is used to tough audiences. She has been a director of education in a penitentiary, a college dean, and a teacher— including in Alabama, during the race riots in 1971. She has banged garbage cans to get the attention of her charges—in a room with more people than chairs, and more cockroaches than people. “I have seen, from a very gut level, what prejudice is,” she said. She also has seen poverty, desperation, and violence shift into awareness, hope, and understanding. With this background, Boyd looked at the cross-cultural dynamic in mid-1990s South Dakota. She saw Native people who had lost a loved one and lacked gas money to transport the body home. She saw beadwork and quillwork fading from the marketplace, as “grandmas and grandpas found it harder to pass along what they knew.” Both she and her husband John saw an unfilled niche, and imagined an art gallery that could buy its merchandise outright— providing instant income to artists. Since this model differs from the standard gallery model—in which merchandise is taken on consignment and the artist is paid when it is sold—she faced some of her toughest audiences in banks. She was told that a female majority stockholder could capture favorable 20
IN CUSTER STATE PARK
Tue. - Sat. at 7:30pm Sat. & Sun. at 2:00pm
BOEING BOEING|June 6–16
A quirky, classic farce | Rated: PG-13
It's Paris, in the swinging ‘60s, and an American architect is juggling love affairs with his fiancés, three sexy stewardesses. Boeing-Boeing will have you laughing just after takeoff.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE|June 20–30 An unforgettable drama | Rated: PG
Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch learns his old professor is battling Lou Gehrig's disease. A simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and an exploration of the meaning of life. Dramatic theatre at its best!
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM|July 4–21 A riotous, musical comedy | Rated: PG-13
One of the funniest musicals ever written, Forum follows a slave and his attempts to win freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. Classic farce meets vaudeville, slapstick, and satire!
CHILDREN OF EDEN|July 25 – Aug. 4 An enchanting musical | Rated: G
A joyous and inspirational musical from composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), Children of Eden is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children.
HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES Aug. 8–18
A classic tale with a twist | Rated: PG Think Sherlock Holmes. Now add Abbott and Costello, the Marx Brothers, and Monty Python. In this rollicking play, three actors take on more than 20 roles in an uproariously funny retelling of the classic thriller with the killer beast!
2013 SEASON PASSES Available through June 10, 2013.
Visit BlackHillsPlayhouse.com or call (605) 255-4141 or (855) 584-4141
Artist: Jon Crane Finely detailed rural landscapes are a natural expression of the personality of watercolorist Jon Crane. A man who loves being outside—on a Baja beach or the highest mountain peak, investigating a southwestern plateau or Midwestern cornfield, contemplating ocean waves or kayaking down a lively stream—Jon searches constantly for those special panoramas that he can translate onto paper.
Gallery: Jon Crane Gallery A gallery and frame shop devoted to the work of Jon Crane. “Inspiration,” Meeker Ranch Series, available in Limited Edition Giclée or Open Edition Miniature. 256 Main St Hill City, SD 57745 1-800-288-1948 – www.joncranegallery.net
Sponsors: Tom & Sandy Frank 22
Showcasing artwork through a collaboration between galleries and individual or corporate sponsors. Sponsors receive a piece of the artist’s work on a one-year loan for display at home or office. For more information: www.hillcityarts.org.
Artist: Grant Standard
“Beyond Belief” Bronze Photo by Jon Youngblut
Sculptor, master metal finisher, and bronze foundry owner. His artistic work has long been inspired by his spiritual experiences and his heritage; Celtic and Native American themes are evident in many of his pieces.
Gallery: Dakota Nature & Art 216 Main Street, Hill City – 605-574-2868 – www.dakotanature.com We are enamored with art. How it makes us feel, react, and think. Remember standing in front of a beautiful painting or object of art and wanting to look at it forever? Come in and find the pieces that speak to you—objects by artists and artisans that reflect the life of real America, life “on this side of the mountain.”
Sponsor: Winston Barclay
Art & HEALTH
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS By Kristin Donnan Standard & Marcia MitchelLl
“Music is medicine,” says Robert Vijay Gupta, the astonishingly youthful founder and director of Street Symphony, an ensemble of musical activists who are changing the lives of the mentally ill, the lost, homeless, forgotten. While his academic studies showed that music actually is medicine—that music can assist in the repair of some brain injuries, or improve language or movement lost through stroke or other illnesses—Gupta insists that “Street Symphony was not planned or executed with any kind of scientific motive. I don’t believe that I made a choice to start this work,” he says. “I felt called to do it.” This is easy to believe after discovering that Gupta could have chosen a variety of paths in life. He is an accomplished classical violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Orchestra, which he joined at 19—after having earned a Master’s Degree in music from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in pre-medicine from Marist College. He is also a TED Fellow (see www.TED.com). There was a moment when Gupta was unsure of whether to go for music or medicine, so he asked the advice of Gottfried Schlaug. Schlaug, a Harvard neuroscientist and music therapist, assisted U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords to regain her ability to speak after a traumatic brain injury. In his formative years, Schlaug had attended the Vienna Conservatory as an organist, and knew what it was like to give up his music. “He told me, ‘Medicine waits, but you can never let go of your music and then come back to the standard where you are now,’” Gupta
recalls. “I was not ready to accept leaving my instrument for years; it was my life.” Gupta’s exposure to music therapy had revealed that “chamber music should not exist only in the chamber.” Still, he was unprepared for the paradigm shift that accompanied his acquaintance with Nathaniel Ayers, a skidrow regular who suffered from Schizophrenia. By the time the two met, Ayers was moving off the street thanks to a combination of an incredible musical talent, lessons from Philharmonic musicians, and the attentions of a Los Angeles Times columnist named Steve Lopez. “I had met Nathaniel a few times,” Gupta recalls. “Then, once we started talking about Beethoven in a Glendale, California, bowling alley. A few days later, I received a call asking if I could give him lessons.”
During the months they worked together, Gupta witnessed unstable periods in his student—but he also saw Ayers’s moods shift dramatically with the influence of music. He saw glimpses of the person who had been a child prodigy and a Juilliard student, a man with an encyclopedic knowledge of music. Mostly, however, Gupta saw “how symbolic it was that this man was schlepping up the hill, carrying his cello and trumpet and violin and bags, sweating from head to toe. It just took one or two times for awareness to dawn on me that I had to take this music outside the hall, outside the Ivory Tower,” he says. “It was time for me to go to him.” While Ayers’s story would be recorded in a book and film called The Soloist, it also provided the inspiration for the Street Symphony. At first, Gupta went alone to shelters and clinics; he was even turned away from hospices and other settings that could not immediately assimilate his presence into their clinical settings. With persistence, however, he found niches in county jails, juvenile halls, veterans’ centers, and both
mental and physical health facilities. “I found myself literally applying music in the field, with audiences who needed it most—and who most lacked access to that art form,” he says. “It can be a bit unsettling to take four musicians with Stradivarius instruments into a prison, or a mental hospital, or a skid-row shelter,” Gupta admits. “It can be unsettling for everyone involved. Initially, the musicians
seen their patients respond in the way they do for Street Symphony. Street Symphony members do not see their audiences in these various settings as collections of convicted inmates or war-weary vets with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or sick people. “They are people like us,” the renowned violinist says. “It is a wholly human engagement. For example, in two back-to-
“Music speaks for itself. The wonderful thing with the arts is that it’s an empathic connection, not a verbal one.” ask themselves, ‘What the hell are we doing here?’” But after opening up and playing for a few moments, he reports, “the room always changes, and the people respond with beautiful, warm, ecstatic ovations—the same kind of ovations we receive after a two-hour concert in a hall.” With time, the Los Angeles community noticed and joined in applauding the good work of the Street Symphony. And after about a year of concerts at one clinic, therapists commented that they had never
back concerts for incarcerated women, our audiences were on their feet, sobbing, engaged, and asking questions, simply filled with the absolute joy of the musical experience.” Asked how he manages to get other accomplished musicians to first join him in the Street Symphony volunteer performances, he chuckles, “I trick them. I say, ‘Let’s get together to practice’—which we all love to do, all the time. Then I tell them to meet me at the shelter, or the prison.”
PAGE 24: Photo by Trevor Pritchard. PAGE 25: Playing at Midnight Mission, Skid Row, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the artist. LEFT: Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the artist.:
I met this incredibly talented person who had been living on skid row—and wondered, “How many others are out there?” Wherever it happens, making music is “a social enterprise”—and a “delivery system for music on the brain. Deeply interesting to me is seeing the web of connectedness in a place with bars and walls and inaccessibility written all over it. Music has opened doors for us, as musicians, citizens, and as human beings.” During his Harvard internship, Gupta learned how damaged brains could create new pathways to language, how behavior is linked to expression, and how emotional response
comes from “gut and heart.” These electrifying linkages have defined his understanding of the origin of emotional response—and of how music affects body, mind, and spirit. These linkages also did something else. They made him decide that he “didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.” Thankfully, Gupta recognized this early in his professional career—before “burn out.” Only in his mid-20s, he has a chance to pace himself. “I know that some people think
I’m approaching my work with a degree of naiveté,” he says. “But I’m getting more in touch with myself. This work comes from a very deep place within me. I have faith in music. It saved my life many times over.” Gupta says that his violin provided “a source of protection from an otherwise volatile and violent home environment”—a chaotic mixture of love, drive for accomplishment, and mental illness. This difficult childhood surely influenced his compassionate caring for those who are hurting, disenfranchised, and in transition. “I don’t have words for the story inside myself,” he says. “It is in a process of unfolding and self-discovery.” So, too, are his audiences unfolding, regardless of whether they sit in the Ivory Tower or behind razor wire. For all of them, Gupta does what he can. He keeps playing.
LEFT: Care Center residents collaborate on a floral art project using watercolor and mixed media on paper, spring 2013. Photo by A. Albright.
ONE LIFE AT A TIME A RT I N T H ER A PEU T I C S E T T I N G S by Ariadne Albright
“Have they told you what’s wrong with me?” Henry asked. They hadn’t specifically, yet I knew that as a resident in the Special Care Unit, Henry lived with dementia. In his late 60s, Henry reminded me of my father with a trim, gray beard and oldworld manners. I introduced myself as Ari; he grandly called himself “Sir Henry”— introducing me to both the man and his wit. We made a simple journal out of corrugated, purple cardstock and drawing paper. Sometimes, Henry was willing to draw in his journal; otherwise, I wrote things he said in the purple book. I listened closely to hear some of what was still stored in his mind. “I haven’t arrived yet,” he once said after sitting down at the art-making table. I got that—my body often arrives before my thoughts join me. Later, on a good day, he blurted out four lines of poetry, and I caught enough to identify Longfellow’s “O Ship of State.” A month later, Henry heard me recount the story—and leaped in: “Put some energy into your words!” he said. With a wry smile, he raised his fist, weaving slightly over his walker, and recited in a powerful voice: Fear not each sudden sound and shock, ‘Tis of the wave and not the rock; Tis but the flapping of the sail, And not a rent made by the gale!
Henry’s drawings tend to be abstract combinations of vertical and horizontal lines with some shading. He is willing to share what he can about his process, of what he’s thinking about when he draws. The drawings seem to act as schematics or diagrams of how he’s retrieving information from his mind. I find it important that I can relate to his experience, because working through this process can assist him in his daily life, both emotionally and physiologically. For as long as I can remember, image making—through drawings and paintings— has been my primary means of expression and catharsis. I process information using the basic tools of color, symbols, and the physical act of marks on a surface—and now I help others with this same process. It works with the very young, teens with substance or behavioral challenges, cancer survivors and their families, special needs adults, medical staff, and senior citizens. We create art activities out of their necessity. Their needs are the same as mine—to be safe, to belong, and to feel respected. Art helps them express all of this and more.
TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN’ In this country, art was first used for rehabilitation purposes in treating WWI veterans. Since then, arts programs at
healthcare facilities have grown in scope and mission. Now, programs across the world share research and a primary purpose: to support client wellness through the arts and art engagement. “Clients” include residents, patients, families, staff, and volunteers, and “wellness” is measured in many ways. The Global Alliance of Arts in Healthcare and Americans for the Arts are two organizations that measure the results. Their most recent surveys reveal that more than fifty percent of U.S. hospitals have arts programs with permanent art displays, performances in public spaces, bedside activities, and/or arts activities for healthcare staff. Americans for the Arts summarized the impact of these initiatives in its primer, the “State of the Field Report” of 2009: “Studies have proven that integrating the arts into healthcare settings helps to cultivate a healing environment, support the physical, mental, and emotional recovery of patients, communicate health and recovery information, and foster a positive environment for caregivers.” One more entry into Henry’s purple journal came after watching him stare at a drawing for a long time. On a black sheet of cardstock he had made several deliberate, horizontal and vertical lines in white colored pencil, framing the outside edges of the page. I asked what was going on. “I’m waiting for a first, spontaneous mark,” he said. Oh boy. That’s the kind of self-awareness you’d hear in an advanced painting critique or an artist’s studio. That’s the reason I’m in this line of work. It was the kind of moment that makes it a joy to keep listening. Pseudonyms are used to preserve anonymity. Ari Albright, MFA, is Arts Program Coordinator and Artist-in-Residence at Sanford Care Center Vermillion, where the primary purpose is to support client wellness through the arts. Since 2007, she also has served as a roster Artist for SD Arts Council, Artists in Schools and Communities Program. www. arialbright.com. 2013 2013
Art & SCIENCE
E XO – H E X A H E D R A L AWA R E N E S S
T H I N K ing O U T S I D E T H E B OX W I T H J O E DAV I S BY KRISTIN DONNAN STANDARD
In another place and time, Joe Davis would have been beheaded. He would have been the guy explaining why the earth is round. Before that, he would have discovered fire. He builds everything from devices to suck the energy from a hurricane to radios constructed of rocks, wire, and fishhooks—the fishhooks are for fine-tuning the stations. His recent South Dakota art installation—at the APEX gallery on the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus—is a pile of rocks stamped with the DNA code of a very particular wild apple from Kazakhstan. His works are artistic expressions of his experience of the world, creative interpretations of biology, philosophy, physics, meteorology, social science, geology, astronomy, and any other realm populated by “thinkers.” But Joe Davis does much more than think. He researches, he
experiments—and in the process he makes cool stuff. “Artists have to describe everything, just like quantum physics explains everything,” he says. “Art creates a new window on the world. You can’t open a window on something you don’t know anything about.” Some other, curious “Average Joe” might express this premise by going narrow and deep. People generally become experts on a specific subject, and at cocktail parties exhibit polite interest in someone else’s subject. We’re willing to hear a thumbnail sketch on commercial paper products, or taxidermy, or the latest tattoo convention. On the other hand, we might have trouble tracking Davis’s answer after asking, “So what do you do?” Or, for the more
OPPOSITE PAGE: Joe Davis and his sculpture Silvergirl. THIS PAGE: A selection of Davis’s science and art projects, which are described in more detail on page 29. Examples: ABOVE LEFT: Ishmael, a lightning-attracting device designed to inhibit hurricane development. TOP RIGHT: A model of Riddle of Life, synthesized DNA on which Davis encoded a poem and other data. BOTTOM RIGHT: Davis’s improvement on the protractor, which allows people to easily draw geometric shapes of multiple sides. All photos, pages 26–29, courtesy of the artist.
informed, “Hey, Joe, what ten projects are you working on right now?” Sometimes his answer goes micro— experimenting with a process through which we can store all of the information humans have thus far compiled in the DNA of bacteria. Davis says it could fit in a small vile in your palm. Practical. Replicating. Indestructible if implanted in “essential” genes of a hearty organism. Easily accessible—for people who know how to read the DNA of bacteria, anyway. Sometimes the answer goes macro— making a 200-mile-high “string of pearls for the whole earth” to enjoy. This idea began in the 1970s, when the development of the space shuttle coincided with what Davis calls the “beginning of environmental consciousness and the last days of environmental art.” Taking advantage of a program where scientists could rent cargo space on the shuttle craft to conduct various experiments, he built a beer-can-sized electron gun that— if attached to the outside of the shuttle— would excite atoms in the upper atmosphere.
the enthusiasm of a child standing in line for his first roller-coaster ride—or perhaps his first skydive. In this particular project, Davis simply wanted to make the sky look pretty for anyone who happened to look up at the right time. [NASA accepted his proposal, but the project lacked its full funding.] “The role of artists and art in society is highly underrated,” Davis says. “In spite of trends to ever more precisely delineate fields of thought and curiosity, artists have to be true generalists. I think this was Vitruvius’s message when he wrote that artists have to be good writers and draftspersons; that they should know about geometry, optics, and arithmetic; something about history and natural and moral philosophy; about music and the sciences of both law and physics; about the motions of heavenly bodies and the motions and proportions of the human body...and that was 2000 years ago. Today artists also need to grasp electromagnetism, thermodynamics, cosmology, lasers, holography, photography, environmental sciences, geology and natural history, the
“The ability to see things in broader terms has value to science, engineering, philosophy—many fields outside of art.” The result would be a pillar of greenishwhite light about fifteen times the size of a full moon that would be visible from Earth as the shuttle orbited. “A lot of the projects I take on, I take on because I’m going to learn something,” Davis says. “To complete this project, I knew I was going to learn about geochemistry and atmospheric chemistry, and electron guns, and the perception of light. There was this plasma wave stuff I had to calculate, the Rayleigh Force and the Lorentz Force—all these things that I had to learn.” For those of us who are not physicists and chemists, Forced Rayleigh Scattering (FRS) is an experimental light scattering technique often used to measure light diffusion. The Lorentz Force has something to do with the magnetic forces exerted on electric current running along a conducting wire. Davis probably figured this out over a burger at about 2 p.m. one afternoon, with 30
ongoing revolution in life science and so much more.” Davis’s universe assigns curiosity to no particular departments—academic or otherwise. A particular investigation might result in a self-portrait, an improved measuring device, silkworms that spin gold, or a message broadcast into a black hole. Literally. Into a black hole. He can chat as coherently about ammonites as he can about comparative religion, motorcycle components, or the detritus spewed into space from orbiting capsules—and whether its associated bacteria might still be alive. “Everything is connected in one way or another,” he says. “It’s about curiosity. Every time I turn around, I’m learning something. It’s life’s blood. It’s not just empirical information; it’s the stuff of the human heart.” The very idea—the fundamental existence—of Joe Davis challenges our current, tidy definitions of “how things
are.” Doctors are supposed to take care of patients; economists are supposed to take care of Wall Street; philosophers are supposed to think big thoughts; scientists are supposed to conduct scientific research; and artists are supposed to enhance our aesthetic environment. “I think that once people realize that somebody like me can actually exist in the world, then a lot of things become possible. Immediately,” Davis pauses. “Or at least it increases the landscape of possibility.” “Somebody like me” means a person who not only blurs the boundaries, but also has inspired a new title— Artist-Scientist— at one of his two “home universities,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Unfortunately, while he is titled and credentialed and ensconced and official, even in the “Oz” of these places, Davis
two disciplines—maybe he would have a traditional job. A position in the land of brainiacs and high-tech toys that comes with, you know, a salary. A position requiring that a person works within the confines of funding requests and…waits. “You have only one chance to make a difference in this life,” Davis says. “Why waste it, why wait for the money?”
SCIENCE/ART PROJECTS, AN EXCERPT—IMAGES ON PAGE 27
MATH FOR THE REST OF US Davis says his polytractors “belong in every science museum and in every school and every toolbox next to every speed scale.” While creating a perfect pentagon or hexagon with a traditional protractor works, forget it if you are shooting for a seven-, eleven-, or thirteen-sided shape. Try making one of these with standard measuring devices, like a compass and a ruler, and you’ll over- or under-estimate; there will be a gap or an overlap. “You’ll end up with an irregular polygon with uneven sides,” he says. To solve the problem, he created “polytractors for inconvenient polygons.”
remains undefined—and largely unfunded. If he fit neatly into an existing academic department, and if he conducted research in a linear fashion—perhaps sticking to related subjects, or even within one or
THE HURRICANE KILLER From Benjamin Franklin’s 1752 attempts to attract lightning to a Leydan Jar (an early form of a capacitor), to the death of a contemporary of Franklin’s (whose lightning rod experiment killed him), to 19th-century devices created to capture lightning and pull energy from violent storms, to Hurricane Katrina. All of these inspired Davis to conceive Call Me Ishmael, his personal rebellion against the ravages of storms. The 109-foot sculpture has three vertical masts that will do two things—act as lightning rods, and discharge energy into the long, narrow cavity bounded by them. This process, he hopes, will diminsh a hurricane’s energy. GENETIC ARTWORK—RIDDLE OF LIFE “I am the riddle of life; know me and you will know yourself,” wrote the Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Max Delbrück. Davis took inspiration from this poem to conceive his biological archive project that stores information in a safe, permanent way. He envisions safely recording all human knowledge in selfreproducing bacterial spores—by encoding information on “conserved genes” that are necessary for the organism’s survival. He has encoded a Goethe poem and a map of the Milky Way—and the hardy bacteria remain in refrigerated vials at MIT and Harvard.
“I have nothing against money, but I don’t want to wait. I want to avoid non-disclosure forms with dreadful red ink and clauses about your first-born child.” Instead, Davis enjoys giving his creations to the world—and the unstable freedom that comes with his maverick status. The world is his playground, and there is no limit to where his Petrie dish might land. Inside a bacterium, floating in deep space, tucked in the sands of a beach, perched on the edge of
OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS—THE FILM After a decade of traveling with Davis to Portugal, Germany, France, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Sweden, Canada, and locations across the United States, Peter Sasowsky had shot hundreds of hours of footage. He writes: Davis “has been called the ‘Father of Bio-art’ for his pioneering work with transgenic organisms. He has been featured on Nightline, in Scientific American, and has collaborated with some of the greatest minds in contemporary science. But that is not why I made this film.…(Instead, Davis) offers a unique contribution to the discussion of what it means to be human.”
a volcano, within the cavities of the human body, shot down a black hole, or ricocheting within a lightning bolt. “I’m not just making art installations or science projects—for me, it’s about the ideas that they hold,” Davis says. “All that other stuff is secondary. The idea is important. If I make the idea from a brick wall, or sending messages to aliens that almost certainly do not exist, it doesn’t matter what the material or the process is. What matters is the idea and how you feel when exploring it. The great moment.” In ages past, Davis says, “the shaman predicted the future, and summoned the human spirit. Now, this is the role of the artist.” In stepping into this role with relish, Davis redefines our approach to both science and art, pushing people’s buttons, challenging the status quo, and questioning our human experience. So far, his exploits have lost him only part of a limb; if he plays his cards right, he’ll probably not lose his head during this millennium.
Sasowsky’s film will be available on DVD and for streaming; other distribution possibilities are still in development.
OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM GENETIC ARTWORK—THE EDEN PROTEIN Malus sieversii, a wild apple from Central Asia, recently was identified as the sole ancestor of most cultivars of the domesticated apple—and Davis is attempting to sequence its genome. “This apple has more genetic diversity than domesticated apples, and is more resistant to disease,” he says. “It is the metaphor for all knowledge.” Plus, inside it contains another gene—RuBisCO, otherwise knowns as Ribulose-1,5bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase—that is far more ancient than apples. Davis calls it the “Eden protein”— probably the most abundant protein on Earth, which takes carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into complex carbon. “We don’t have the gene to make this protein,” Davis says. To celebrate this apple, Davis created an exhibit containing thousands of stones— printed with binary numbers corresponding with the DNA sequence of the RuBisCO gene. To celebrate what he calls this “hidden knowledge,” Davis installed the exhibit in a spring 2013 show at the APEX Gallery on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City.
TAPPING FOR THEIR LIVES SA N I T Y I N H EL L BY KRISTIN DONNAN STANDARD
Writers often say they “must” write, that THE HANOI HILTON putting words together is like breathing. The Hundreds of prisoners in the infamous experience of prisoners of war takes this need into a new realm of necessity, where the ability Ho Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi to form the words themselves is an indication Hilton, would be grateful that Captain Carlyle that a person just might survive intact. POWs “Smitty” Harris had learned the code from an wrote for themselves, but they also wrote for Air Force instructor during training. “It was absolutely simple,” recalls Major one another—and to share their words, they used a code that they could tap out on bars, General John Borling, USAF, Retired. He was shot down over North Vietnam and pipes, or walls. They passed instructions and became a prisoner in Hanoi for more than information, taught languages, and exchanged six years, starting in 1966. “Smitty and their most intimate thoughts and dreams.
it also saved his mind. Always a writer, he took to creating and memorizing poetry— literally dozens of poems—and then tapping them to his fellow POWs. “By sharing the stories, I could lift my own spirits,” Borling said. “The poems were a testimony to the human spirit and the human condition. We needed humanity.” The work conveyed pathos, bitterness, and even humor. And although a given POW might not have appreciated this detail, the poetry also “relied on the Elizabethan sonnet and standard quatrains.” Borling’s skills at memorization were “always fair,” but in a true exhibition of the “You have to get through life. No matter how easy or how Art of Necessity, he said he became a master hard, the real necessity is just to pick them up and lay them in the Hanoi Hilton. “When you make time an ally—when the race of the unrelenting down—to keep marching in the face of adversity or success.” minute stretches out like some huge and nonending road—you have to fill that time and be competitive in your own mind.” others passed the code by tapping in the oldPOWs consistently tried to expand their The code itself, or at least its ancestor, is fashioned way, or by shouting it out at great learning, maintain their physical fitness, and credited to the ancient Greek historian and risk. The code migrated its way through the keep mentally capable and sane. The poetry scholar Polybius. Later, a Cyrillic script system; everybody had exposure to it. After helped. “You didn’t know if anyone but the version is reported to have been used by prisoners of Russian Czars. Each iteration of thirty or forty days I had it.” guys you had contact with knew you were Another POW named Ron Bliss has the code has been formatted within a five-byalive,” he said. “I was proud of my fellows. been quoted as saying that the Hanoi Hilton We all tried to measure up and lean on one five grid, in which the letters of the alphabet are identified by their places in its horizontal “sounded like a den of runaway woodpeckers” another, even if only through the walls.” with all the messaging. and vertical axes. Borling would live to share his poetry The tap code might have served these men in person, both with his fellow POWs and well for many tactical reasons, but for Borling with his beloved wife—and he also would
continue his military career. His work would take him from the jungles of Vietnam to the Great Plains of North America—where he would become Division Commander at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and Director of Operations for the Strategic Air Command at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. Forty years after the release of the Hoa Lo Prison’s POWs, Borling’s poetry has been reproduced in a volume entitled Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton (Master Wings Publishing, Pritzker Military Library). The book is divided into four sections, three of which express the freedom of flying, the difficulty of being held in inhumane and lonely conditions, and the need to remember the enormity of the POW plight, respectively. The fourth section is an epic commentary that took years to compose. An excerpt of his work is presented in the box at right. For more information on Borling’s story, visit tapsonthewalls.com.
POETRY FROM TAPS ON THE WALLS BENEATH THIN BLANKET
From huddled sleep, from humbled sleep, My sickened shape awakes. Still lost in darkness, Beneath thin blanket.
The scepter raised and silent challenge made, Again I mental summon lance and shield, And somehow last till regal colors fade. It’s now, the victor absent from the field,
Sick lungs suck deep, asthmatic deep, It’s cold, controlless shakes Across the chamber, Beneath thin blanket.
Hard pallet draws me, huddled down upon,
I struggle steep against the steep Of loathsome life that breaks The sure and sureless, Beneath thin blanket.
Embittered languor blankets captive man;
I’ll fight till sleep, till tired sleep My sickened shape retakes. Still lost in darkness, Beneath thin blanket.
For time’s an old and boring enemy.
A distant tower tolls a muffled chime; Another muddled day has eddied on To join the addled streams of tousled time. So armored, sally forth at dawn, consigned To stand alone, and parry best I can Until appointed tourney’s end, resigned. Too cruel to kill forgotten men like me.
Poetry Copyright: Master Wings Publishing LLC, an imprint of The Prtizker Military Library. Reprinted with permission.
BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT
OPPOSITE PAGE:This cup was one of Borling’s meager possessions while imprisoned; he smuggled it out when the POWs were released. It is shown with POW bracelets that were imprinted with his name. ABOVE: Borling was shot down during his 97th fighter mission over North Vietnam. Seriously injured during ejection, he was captured and sent to the Hanoi Hilton on June 1, 1966. Images and poetry provided by Gen. Borling.
Texters and tweeters were not the first to develop keystroke-saving abbreviations; prisoners of war did it generations ago, and they did it for keeps. While Borling might have tapped thousands of words through the walls of the Hanoi Hilton, the men who were confined there also developed favorite abbreviations. For example, GN was “good night,” ST was “sleep tight,” and “GBU” meant “God bless you.” POW Vice Admiral James Stockdale, in his book In Love and War, recalls when he and Air Force Major Samuel Johnson tapped messages through their adjoining cells. “Our tapping ceased to be just an exchange of letters and words; it became conversation. Elation, sadness, humor, sarcasm, excitement, depression—all came through,” Stockdale wrote. “I laughed to think what our friends back home would think of us two old fighter pilots standing at
a wall, checking for shadows under the door, pecking out a final message for the day with our fingernails: ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite.’” BELOW: In the Tap Code the letter K was substituted with C, allowing for a total of 25 easy-to-tap letters. In comparison, Morse Code’s dots and dashes are harder to communicate through walls.
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Starting Summer 2013
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Live, public art by sculptor Masayuki Nagase at Main Street Square in Downtown Rapid City Don’t miss the artist at:
Timeless Indigenous Art
June 22-23, 2013 526 Main St., Rapid City
In the Heart of Downtown, Sioux Falls 605-338-9300 www.prairiestar.com “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” - Faulkner
| www.RCSculptureProject.com 2013
Back in the day, South Dakotans might have made an annual trip to the county seat to pay their taxes—with a pig. There is something about the essence of this idea that resonates with Hill City. Except Hill City has become the “county seat” of art. And the “county” has expanded throughout the state, and even across state lines. Hill City’s galleries, wineries, restaurants, museums, “Harney Style” architecture, public art, art studios, fine art foundry, outdoor activities—and its proximity to the Mickelson Trail, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Memorial—have created an identifiable “cultural experience” that enriches the quality, hometown feel, and authenticity of the entire community. And in Hill City, “art town” doesn’t mean wearing a tuxedo to grocery-shop, or emptying your wallet to buy a hankie. The Hill City Arts Council joins the efforts of a vibrant business community, hosting and/or supporting high-quality programs, including Sculpture in the Hills annual show and sale, Open Stage winter music showcase, Arts Midwest World Fest international music series, the annual Black Hills Film Festival, and a variety of workshops, seminars, and charettes. Other community organizations also collaborate on initiatives that bring us all even closer. It makes good sense, then, that Hill City would provide the perfect home base for High Plains Art—as we have for seven years when the magazine was named Art of the Hills. Now, the Hill City Arts Council is proud to publish our region’s only magazine focused on culture, creativity, and the richness of artistic expression. You’ll see this focus in our expanding online and social media presence. We also look forward to welcoming you to our events. For example, turn the page to meet our 2013 Sculpture in the Hills artists. Photo by Neal Larson
Your community also can showcase your arts and culture programs in High Plains Art. Let our readers know what you are doing. Create your own special section in our publication—include event catalogs, seasonal listings, community initiatives, and more . This is your art magazine!
Sculpture in the Hills art show and sale Thousands of visitors from across the country join our renowned guest
artists in Hill City’s premier celebration of fine art and entertainment. We offer
sculpturein thehills Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the area’s only juried fine art show and sale.
informational seminars, silent auction, and cash prizes for artists. No entry fee; suitable for all ages.
Purchases support not only the artists who travel to the show, but also the Arts
Council and our community. Long-term,
Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support.
Mike & Lesta Turchen TIM & KIM WATT
proceeds contribute to the purchase of sculptures for permanent display.
PUBLIC ART: WHERE IT’S “AT” Stroll through our one-horse town to
enjoy two monumental sculptures placed on Main Street by the Hill City Arts
Council: Patriarch, a life-sized bronze
bison by Peg Detmers; and Iron Star, a hybrid-metal horse sculpture by four-time
Sculpture in the Hills People’s Choice Award-winner John Lopez.
Schedule 1880 Train • Berberich Design • The Black Dog Studio Crow Ridge Productions • Desperados Cowboy Restaurant Denny Gemeny • Granite Sports • Marcia Mitchell • Prairie Berry Winery Troy & Alison Schmidt • Sid Spelts • Bob & Joanna Warder BEST OF SHOW
1st PLACE—J. Scull Construction 2nd PLACE—Viken Law Firm 3rd PLACE— Evergreen Garden Club
1st PLACE—Ken & Liz Anderson 2nd PLACE—Dave & Bonnie Guerre 3rd PLACE—1st Interstate Bank
Mike & Sarah Hanson • Mike & Erica Welu Eileen Hamm • Dave & Elizabeth Lyons Edward Jones – Jim Meyer, Advisor
SNEAK PREVIEW PARTY: June 28, 6 – 8 p.m., $25.00 Best
available at arts venues throughout town
(check Website for locations) or by credit card; call 605-574-3200. TENT HOURS:
Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
SEMINARS FOR ART LOVERS: See Website for details. SILENT AUCTION:
Sculpture in the Hills Sponsorships are still available!
To participate, please E-mail email@example.com or call 605-574-2810.
Saturday 10 a.m. – Sunday 1 p.m. PEOPLE’S CHOICE ANNOUNCED: Sunday 3 p.m.
sculpturein thehills PARTICIPATING ARTISTS Lorri Acott — HILL CITY, SD Lorri Acott developed paperclay sculpting techniques from which she creates unique and
recognizable bronze sculptures, which are currently represented in eight US galleries. Her work has
been featured in several magazines, including Southwest Art; collected by art lovers across the globe; displayed on the sets of a number of several television programs, including House MD and ER; and will appear in 2012 on the big screen in a movie starring Beau Bridges, Columbus Circle.
Her public art includes: Women with Wings Project, which brought together more than 550 unique inspiring stories from Colorado and Missouri; Peace (12.8’), an installation in Evergreen, CO; and several others in sculpture walks and gardens throughout the country.
AL AMON — COLORADO SPRINGS, CO Al Amon is an accomplished bird carver who has been carving for more than thirty years. His award-winning work has been displayed in galleries from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Fort Myers, Florida—and can be found in homes throughout the United States, Japan, New Zealand and much of Europe. He has been a featured artist on Denver television. Al’s life-sized bird sculptures are carefully matched with appropriate habitats in which the birds are found. Using tupelo wood for his birds and a variety of other materials to form habitat, he has been able to create a snapshot of nature. His additional study of skins, pictures, and observation of birds in the habitat has led to a very realistic rendition.
Grahame Atkinson — Longmont, CO Grahame investigates the idea of “The Earth Mother,” a spiritual figure who is both creation and
creator. While his work might vary in form and context, the idea of an individual as the embodiment
of all things natural is one to which he constantly returns. Grahame uses the female figure as a
metaphor for the interconnectedness of nature and humanity, and the cyclical character of existence. Each figure grows from graceful shapes that form the base, suggestive of water, but decorated as stone. Sometimes the figure is pregnant, and always embodies past, present, and future.
Originally from England, Grahame lives and works in Longmont. His work is found in several local galleries and in private collections throughout North America and Europe.
Mitch Brown — RApid City, SD Having abeen sculpting for more than thirty years, Mitch continues to explore different
techniques to achieve the effects he is after. Never being afraid of, or prejudiced by materials or
processes has allowed him to develop many different styles of sculpture. Today Mitch brings a fresh
look and feel to an ancient medium: concrete. With all the forces to contend with, this material poses
incredible challenges, as well as rewards. As someone once commented, “The difference between an
engineer and an artist is that the engineer has a problem to solve, while the artist creates problems.”
BobbiE Carlyle — Loveland, CO “I create monumental bronze sculptures that capture bold strength and provocative intelligence.
My figures go beyond first impressions to challenge the intellect and cause viewers to look within themselves for greater meaning. My work reflects my love for classic sculpture, while presenting a modern...presentation and a psychological...connection to the struggles and triumphs of life.”
Bobbie’s subjects include wildlife, Western, figurative, and liturgical. She is internationally
known for her piece entitled Self Made Man, along with many other commissions and installations. She is one of only five artists included in the process to create a memorial sculpture for Benjamin Banneker, planned for placement within the Memorial Core of Washington, D.C.
Rory Combs — Ruidoso, NM Rory Combs has been intrigued by Native American culture since childhood. He creates limited
edition bronze sculptures that capture the spirit of our Native American forefathers. Marveling in
their spirituality and wisdom, he strives to portray their beauty, pride, strength, dignity and grace. His work has appeared in juried shows and exhibits from Arizona to Illinois, and he loves coming to the Black Hills for Sculpture in the Hills.
Jared and Nicole Davis — Crawford, CO Glass artists Jared and Nicole Davis live and work at the foot of the West Elk Mountains
in Western Colorado. Together their 19 years of glass experience have included a two-year apprenticeship with Swedish glass masters Jan-Erik Ritzman and Sven Åke Carlsson, training at
the Kosta Boda Glass School in Sweden, plus workshops at the Pratt Fine Art School in Seattle, Washington. Today, Jared and Nicole work out of their own hot shop, North Rim Glass Studio, in
Crawford, Colorado. Their work can be found in many galleries and private collections around the world.
Peggy Detmers — Rapid City, SD Peggy grew up among the expansive grasslands and productive marshes of the eastern half of
South Dakota. From horseback or afoot, she watched and drew domestic and wild animals alike. Peggy earned a Bachelor of Science in wildlife and fisheries and general biology, but never lost interest in the arts. During a sabbatical, she studied with professional sculptors and painters in the southwestern US, and studied bronze casting by working at foundries in California and Arizona.
After five years in the Southwest, Peggy returned to western South Dakota, where she continues to be inspired by the landscapes and wildlife of the Black Hills. Now she uses her scientific training to accurately depict her subject matter in several media.
Jim Green — Rapid City, SD Jim Green is first and foremost a bronze sculptor, although he has worked as a draftsman,
machinist, steel fabricator, sign man, neon bender, foundry man, and mold maker.
His experiences as an artist started early, with the teachings of his father, who was a very
talented artist and draftsman. In fact, Jim’s professional life began in the family’s steel fabrication
and machine shop in Rapid City, SD, which later transitioned into a fine art bronze casting foundry. While operating the foundry, Jim fell in love with art in general and sculpture in particular, but had
little time to develop his own style. His talent found its voice after he moved to southern Utah, where a large sign manufacturing company required that his myriad artistic skills flourish.
BECKY GRISMER— SPEARFISH, SD Becky Grismer was born and raised in eastern South Dakota. She received her BA in Fine
Art from Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD, in 2002. She lived and worked in St. Paul, MN
for several years before returning to South Dakota , where she currently resides in the Black Hills working as a sculptor.
Becky’s sculptures are created with tree bark and other materials found in nature. She can be
found searching for materials in the forest and in South Dakota’s shelterbelts. Her work has been
included in public collections and can be found in private collections throughout the United States.
WILLIAM JENNINGS — BUFFALO, WY From childhood attempts at drawing and painting to assisting his parents with cast metal animal
trophies, William’s artistic tendencies were encouraged. He since has explored the rugged mountains and vast prairies of Wyoming, studying nature’s wild inhabitants.
As an adult, he sought out whatever information he could find on the bronze sculpting process,
as its presence and permanence intrigued me. For the past 20 years, he has specialized in creating
original limited edition bronze sculptures, and has showed in Wyoming and Montana galleries. His art is found in both private and public collections around the world.
Nick Moffet — Pueblo West, CO Nick creates many one-of-a-kind bronzes that please the eye and stimulate the mind. A duality,
realism with fragmentation, beauty with a void, detail and space, concrete and abstract, with fringe, fetishes, lace and diamonds, his elegant bronzes often capture the story of women and desire, women in conflict, and women with strength.
His subject matter also includes other subjects, including symbolic peace pipes, wildlife, and
feathers. In all of them, Nick encourages the mind to become engrossed with a piece’s missing parts, its inner and outer space, or whispers of another emotional or physical state. For several years, Nick’s work has taken a decided turn toward a Southwest, West, pseudo-Native American imagery.
Raj Paul — Houston, TX Raj S Paul brings many years of animal study to the field of wildlife art. As former owner of
Precision Mannikins Inc., he specialized in the design and manufacture of taxidermy forms for African and North American game animals.
Born in India, Raj thumbed his way to the United States as a teenager. He soon discovered a
natural talent for landscape design and won numerous national awards for his landscape installa-
tions. He now brings the same keen eye to his artwork. A self-taught artist, Raj is focused on sculpt-
ing in both a representational as well as an impressionistic style. A lover of the outdoors and an avid sportsman, he has traveled the globe, observing wildlife—and people—in their natural habitats.
James PaulsEn — Solway, MN James Paulsen is a self-taught artist. Alternately studying the wilds of the northern forest and the
open beauty of the American Southwest, he concentrates his work on natural subjects. He is heavily influenced by he environments he grew up with and his family’s artistic background, having been
raised by an artist-illustrator and an author. In his work, he explores merging the beauty he sees in the natural world with the expressiveness of clay and bronze.
Although most of his work is in galleries or private collections across the country, James has
recently completed two public commissions, Taking Flight in Atlanta, Georgia, and The Defenders of Freedom Memorial in Bemidji, Minnesota.
EDIE RENO — Gillette, WY As a prolific revelatory artist, Edie Reno has taught art, as well as creating and exhibiting paintings,
drawings, and sculptures in schools and communities for 30 years. An encounter of the Heavenly kind in 2008 supernaturally changed and charged her heart and imagery with a catalytic purpose.
Jeff Schaezle — Billings, MT Jeff Schaezle has actively pursued his art career for the last 20 years. He is mainly self-taught,
but continues to take numerous professional courses. Jeff ’s love of stone and his ability to capture his subject allows the beauty of the stone to speak for itself. Living in Montana, he is able to capture nature in his work, and incorporates both classical European art with Native influences.
Jeff has received many awards, participates in annual sculpture shows, and has been featured in
galleries in Montana, Wyoming, California and Maryland. His work has also been shown at the
Bradford Brinton Museum in Wyoming and the Charlie Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana. Currently Jeff makes art, teaches, does yoga, and dreams of that next work of genius.
Valerie Jean Schafer — Plymouth, IN Valerie’s home and studio/foundry are located on the setting where the last forced removal of
Native Americans from Indiana (the state whose name means “Land of the Indians”) began in
1838. It is for this reason, as well the exploration of her own Cherokee heritage, that much of her work draws upon a form-vocabulary inspired by American Indian artifacts from prehistory. The
simplicity of these forms evokes a sense of elegance with a decidedly contemporary feel. The essence of spirituality is ever present to the viewer.
Of the bronze casting process, she finds experimentation with the various colors and effects that
can be achieved with the use of hot chemical patinas of special interest.
Adam Schultz — HILL CITY, SD Adam Schultz was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1966. His bronze and stone sculptures have
been placed all over America, including such noteworthy locations as Arlington National Cemetery, and in collections of people like Tommy Dorsey.
For the last 20 years, Adam has been living and sculpting in Loveland, Co. He has been
commissioned to sculpt animals, portraits, memorials, and monuments for both private and corporate collections.
Adam’s body of work ranges from miniature to monumental, and includes figurative subjects,
wildlife, and contemporary sculpture, as well.
Della SLentz — Rapid City, SD Della Slentz is a western art sculptor residing for the past 21 years in the Black Hills of South
Dakota. Although she has been drawing, painting, or sculpting since childhood, sculpture has been
her passion for the last 12 years. Her sculptures are inspired by the beauty of the Black Hills, the local wildlife, and the rich history of the western United States.
Della’s artwork includes a series of sculptures, “Broken Promises,” portraying five northern Plains
Indian tribes. The piece shown in the photograph at left is the fourth in the series, titled Blackfoot. Della’s work includes a broad range of bronze sculptures depicting pack horses, buffalo, South Dakota wildlife, and interesting people of the area.
Grant Standard — Hill City, SD Grant Standard’s artistic work has long been inspired by his spiritual experiences and his
heritage; Celtic and Native American themes are evident in many of his pieces. Like these rich
traditions, bronze has an ancient history—nearly unchanged for thousands of years—that connects deeply to Grant’s work style.
“It has to do with what is ancient and what is modern,” he says. “Working with bronze is like
stepping back in time, both with my hands and with my place in the world. I feel that through bronze I can look back, in order to go forward.”
ROBERT TEN CATE — SIOUX FALLS, SD & TUCSON, AZ After education in design, technical illustration, photography, and advertising, Robert spent time
in the military—and then opened Ten Cate Advertising, Inc. He helmed this full-service advertising agency for 42 years, and then returned to painting and sculpture, a childhood dream.
Through business and vacation travel, Robert has had the opportunity to sketch and photograph
many wildlife areas, from the Arctic Circle to Australia.
Kris Voss — LaPorte, CO “As an artist who grew up in the Black Hills area, I am truly excited to participate in Hill City’s
art festival devoted to sculpture...enjoy the show!”
People’s Choice Favorite, John Lopez, in 2011
CHANGING THE WAY ART WORKS MONUMENTAL ART: • Brings people together. • Contributes to the culture and experience of a place. • Assists communities in commemorating important moments. It visually, viscerally establishes and celebrates milestones—whether triumphant or challenging. • Is one piece in the complex healing process. Research shows that art—visual, performance, hands-on—assists people in healing faster and experiencing less stress. In healthcare facilities, it also improves staff ’s workplace satisfaction. • Is a crucial part of well-rounded high performance. Research shows that students who are exposed to and practice art think more creatively in all subjects, do better in school, test better, and are more sought after for employment.
How can a fine art foundry use this information to change the way the bronze industry works? • By reaching out—directly to artists and venues. • By assisting in the concept, development, and production of works that improve our quality of life—and helping to place them where they will do the most good. • By working creatively with people who also are working to change the planet. ArtConexus is a partnership. If you are an artist with inspirational, healing work, or a venue administrator who wants to inspire and heal— Let’s Connect. For more information: www.blackhillsbronze.com • 605.574.3200 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace 13-foot bronze by Lorri Acott 2013
Perspective Q&A with DALE LAMPHERE Dale Lamphere is one of the region’s most recognized sculptors, artist mentors, and arts advocates—and received the 2013 Governor’s Award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement. Lamphere initiated South Dakota’s Art for State Buildings program, and served as president of South Dakotans for the Arts. Lamphere’s dynamic body of work spans many media and forms, including assemblage, landscapes, figurative cast bronze, and stone and stainless steel fabrication. He has completed more than 50 major public sculptures installed throughout the nation—including in the South Dakota State Capitol rotunda and the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, DC. His portraits include George McGovern, Bob Hope, and Burl Ives. Everyone talks about how art is “necessary” for artists, but how is it necessary for the public? Art can be defined as the creative edge of society, and as such is the primary evidence of a society’s existence. History proves this out: We recall those ideas, bits of music, those objects of art that were created by someone in a society—that’s what endures. In the present day, it might seem as if our business climate defines an age, but in historical terms, art is really all we have. What is your take on how the arts contribute to the economy? There have been numerous studies showing the undeniable impact of the arts on economy. Let me quote the Arts & Economic Prosperity III report, which is published by Americans for the Arts: “Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity annually—a 24 percent increase in just the past five years. That amount is greater than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries. This spending supports 5.7 million full-time jobs right here in the United States—an increase of 850,000 jobs since our 2002 study....
“Our industry also generates nearly $30 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year. By comparison, the three levels of government collectively spend less than $4 billion annually to support arts and culture—a spectacular 7:1 return on investment that would even thrill Wall Street veterans. “Nationally, as well as locally, the arts mean business!” Plenty of research indicates that art also contributes to health. Have you seen this with your own work? Years ago, I did a sculpture called the Spirit of Healing, and it seemed to me that well-being for us as individuals is a matter of bringing energies into convergence. Health is a subtle thing, and the arts speak at that subtle level where healing or ill health takes place; that’s why art resonates with people. Do you think the average person is aware of the importance of the arts in the economy, health, science, or other areas? I think that the average person is so busy trying to juggle the complexity of our society that the arts have received short shrift. We simply don’t take time to feel and experience the world around us. “Arts education,”
A 54-inch absract sculpture constructed of stainless steel, limestone, and sandstone. This installation is in a private collection in Aspen, Colorado.
therefore, should be about educating the public—not just children—as to the value of art. And in schools, it’s not about creating more artists; it’s about producing more creative thinkers. Even so, our society today is a good example of tremendous creativity. There are so many things that are changing so rapidly, all because of creative thinking. In my opinion, our task is ensuring that we don’t ignore the most essential aspects of creativity—which often have little to do with business or a profit motive. History is rife with artists who didn’t even make a living, but they created important things. This is happening still today, and society will always derive insight from what artists create. The arts provide a more humane lifestyle and help us more deeply appreciate the world around us. —KDS
THE BLACK HILLS’ ONLY SCULPTURE SHOW & SALE HILL CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA CORNER OF MAIN & ELM STREETS JUNE 28: 6 – 8PM Preview Party (Call for tickets!)
JUNE 29: 10AM – 7PM JUNE 30: 10AM – 4PM (People’s Choice: 3PM)
“All That” by Adam Schultz Winner of Best in Show 2012
Located in the Heart of the Black Hills, SD
Minutes from Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Minutes from Crazy Horse Memorial
Enjoy the 100-mile Mickelson Trail
Ride the 1880 Train – Black Hills Central Railroad
Visit the local Wineries, Galleries, and Museums
Every year, Sculpture in the Hills enjoys the support of business and community members throughout the Black Hills area—benefactors who are as excited about high-quality art as we are. By becoming a Patron of a juried show, you help guarantee a level of experience for attendees—an experience that contributes to both entertainment and the economy. Join us—and in the process, let others know that you support great art! Sponsorships are always available; contact us to participate.
For more information: www.hillcityarts.org.
A NATIVE AMERICAN AND CONTEMPORARY FINE ART EXPERIENCE Featuring Sarah Rogers and 25 Artists from the Black Hills and Beyond www.warriorswork-benwestgallery.com 277 Main Street • PO Box 363, Hill City, SD 57745 • 605-574-4954 or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WarriorsWork.BenWestGaller y