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What Is Native With Joshua Garrett and Edward S. Curtis

  • The Paseo Plunge 3010 Paseo Oklahoma City, OK, 73103 United States (map)

For February at the Paseo Plunge, Joshua Garrett is featured in an exhibit titled “Catching Shadows: Interpreting the Works of Edward S. Curtis”  by Joshua Garrett”.  The exhibit will include more than thirty paintings by Garrett responding to the work of photographer and ethnologist, Edward S. Curtis whose work in the 19th and 20th century helped illuminate the Native American experience to the outside world.  The exhibit will also include a number of vintage photogravures from the volumes and portfolios that make up Curtis’ epic “North American Indian“ document.  Each of the 20 volumes contains 75 photogravures and each of the 20 portfolios contains 35 large format photogravures.  Following is a statement from Garrett regarding the influence of his life experience on his approach to the canvas with paint brush in hand.

"My work is based on my experiences regarding conflicted spirituality, cultural isolation, over consumption and being deaf. 

Although I am of Muscogee/Seminole heritage, I was raised in a Baptist household for the most part. My grandfather was a preacher. He was forced to learn English while attending a boarding school. My mother used to speak Muscogee but has forgotten how to speak the language as time goes on. Therefore, I was never really exposed to my traditional culture. This results in me feeling isolated at times. Mostly because I feel I am a part of the Church’s systematic attempt at killing off any sense of cultural identity generation by generation. 

I feel certain religions have taken over traditional beliefs and practices. I do not subscribe to any particular belief system but I do feel all things are connected somehow some way. Call it magic. Call it energy. Call it what you want.             

My aunt used to read my palms, tarot cards and horoscope growing up. Somewhere along the way I became fascinated with Freemasonry and its symbols and how they tie into the Church and today's modern media and how these symbols influence how much I consume as well as how society consumes as a whole.          

I am a product of my surroundings and all of these elements and experiences tie in and connect in one way or another. Even though I am aware of my surroundings, at times I still feel like a dead feather amongst the debris”

This exhibit is co-sponsored by: The Corridor, Gallery of Fine Art; the Oscar Jacobson Foundation; the Melton Art Reference Library; and The Paseo Plunge. It is curated by Amena Butler and Daniel Brackett.