The exhibit's theme is "Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces," and it explores the identity of Taos Pueblo from an insider's perspective through Wings's chosen media: photography and sterling silver. The show features ten photographs of Taos Pueblo's classic architecture and iconography, presented in a wholly different way. Instead of concentrating on the famed multi-level houses ubiquitous in photos everywhere, Wings brings the existential details into focus:
"There is so much more to our ancestral lands, our sacred spaces, that people never see. Some of that is purposeful: Our traditions require privacy and secrecy, and there is much that is not available to outsiders. But even in the public areas of the Pueblo, what visitors see and what I see are two very different things.
"With this exhibition, I would like to take you on a journey I want to show you what I see, feel what I feel "” the sights and sounds and smells and sensations of this place, this land, that has embedded in my blood and bone and that of my people for more than a millennium . . . .
"Come with me. Let me show you this earth, this sky, this light that is wholly a part of me."
This exhibit is both an honor and a tremendous opportunity for Wings and his art. However, it's also a perfect example of why Native artists do such events at a rate so much lower than that of their non-Native counterparts: It requires a significant financial investment up front that few of us can afford. We've already put substantial amounts of money into the project, investing in silver, materials, his time and labor, and countless other expenses, large and small. We're now down to six days and the final production stages to mount the show. The matting and framing of the photographs alone will cost just shy of $1,200. We also need to produce a program guide with interpretive information for all of the pieces (another $500 to $1,000) as well as title and caption holders for the photos, and the Web site will need to be overhauled to permit users with mobile devices to access the site (at least another $500 initially). We've estimated conservatively at $2,500, but exceeding the goal would give us a little breathing room for incidental expenses (including the possibility of an artist's reception before it closes in mid-May).
- Birgitt Funk
- Brian M. Scott
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