A View From Within Under The Skin
2016, 9’ x 12’ x 1.5”, Crayola Crayon
There are 12 girls, and each girl is made in 24 colors from a Crayola Crayon box making a total 288 girls.
I think if we could see ourselves as all the colors in the crayon box in all the shades, we could be kinder we would be able to feel if just for a moment another’s life and our world could change in such a way that children would not worry about if they are too light or too dark to belong. We are more than a classification in terms of a position between two extremes, I see the light within us all and the variations that make each of us, we are all the colors and an untold number of possibilities.
The way we see others and how one is seen has been a subject that I have had in my life since I was small. I am both Native American and Caucasian, but growing up I felt more times than I care to count that I was not enough of one or the other and that pull made me question all parts of myself. If I did not look like _____ could I be ______? Where did I fit if I was not a part of this or that group? I have had conversations with many that are from other races and nationality and they too have struggled. Is my skin too dark or not dark enough, the texture of my hair or the accent that one hears when I speak. All this history, this past came to a head one day while getting my children ready for school we were pulling together pencils, colored pencils, folders, and crayons. They had to have 4 sets of 24 crayons each and we had leftovers from sets of the past years, some colors had never been used, and we were combining them together so we’d know how many new boxes would be required. The kids were talking about their friends at the new school and friends of their past school. In the conversation, they were describing the children “the girl with a big laugh, she has yellow hair, or the boy I ate lunch with, he was a helper and he told the funniest stories”, in a very casual descriptive manner with no malice to the differences. This made me think more about how we see people and how one is judged. The smell of the crayons, the vivid colors, and the thoughts of my youth brought me to this crayon project. How we change in our viewpoints of people, and how we judge people based on race and color. We are all one below that surface, that surface of skin, no matter the color, the shape, or the origin.
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- Weaving History into Art: The Enduring Legacy of Shan Goshorn, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK (October 9, 2020 – March 28, 2021)
- On Turtle’s Back, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL (Sept 13, 2019 -December 23, 2019)
- Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (March 7 – June 2, 2019)
- On Turtle’s Back, Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe NM (May 25, 2018-January 27, 2019)
- 21C Museum Hotels Oklahoma City (August 2017 – February 2018)
- Four by Four 2016: Midwest Invitational Exhibition, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri (September 10 – December 4, 2016)