Last night Jared, Chrissy and I ventured a little north to see our friend Linda’s art show. Over the past few years she has been working with a collective known for its murals. This project was different. They compiled a months worth of images and research into a room of information about the Tulsa massacre of 1921. Here is what they have to say about the project .
“The history of Tulsa Oklahoma speaks of one of the highest points of affluence in African American history until 1921. Greenwood, was an African American community known as “Black Wall Street” due to the fact that it was autonomous and the wealthiest African American community in the country at that time. In June of 1921, a “race riot” turned into a massacre. 300 people were killed and entire the community of Greenwood was burnt to the ground. This was the first time that the U.S. government had dropped “explosives” on their own citizens, leaving Tulsa with a tarnished record for racism and ethnic cleansing. Despite this great tragedy, citizens of Greenwood persevered and rebuilt against all odds.
Currently the conversation about the history of Tulsa and players involved are being amplified in a magnitude of social consciousness, alluding to the resiliency of a community that refuses to be defined by acts of hatred against them and looks optimistically to the future. To this date very little has been resolved or healed from these past wounds. Raising the question of how do we reach a point of true reconciliation today? Through the means of visual expression and direct information provided from informed residents, we look to raise awareness of this history, as a step in the direction of assisting the community efforts to reach a point where amends are truly met and healing can finally take place.”
The gallery was in a home similar to the ones from my years in college. Clear out a room and put art in it invite friends add snacks art party. This is really no different than a real gallery except it’s more about showing and less about buying. It’s called seed on diamond street.
The work fit into the setting of the house acting almost as a collection of artifacts rather than art. Making the images speak towards a sense of permanent wall hangings. The members of the collective photographed themselves in historical landmarks involved in the massacre. Somehow the photographs of such a chilling moment in history almost seemed comical, without making light of the heavy burden such an event placed on the history of Tulsa. In addition the artists collected wood and other things on the land and produced small sculptures .
Check out the website to see when to visit!