Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Crisp-Ellert Museum on campus of Flagler College has opened "Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay," exploring the interment of hundreds of Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho and Caddo peoples in the Castillo de San Marcos, known then as Fort Marion.
 
As the United States pushed west and Americans sought new land to settle on, the people who lived there were displaced and pushed into reservation systems. Some of the people who fought back were rounded up and shipped East to St. Augustine and imprisoned in the old Spanish fort.

Trail of many Native Americans who were shipped to Fort Marion.
During the imprisonment, a group of Native Americans from numerous tribes created drawings depicting life on the plains featuring traditional outfits, activities and more.

Some of the original ledger drawings on display, courtesy of the National Park Service.
Photographs of the internment on display, courtesy of St. Augustine Historical Society.
The curators of Re-Ridding History asked 72 artists, many who had ancestors imprisoned at the Fort, to create a piece of artwork that responded to the experience of personal imprisonment. Most of the pieces are the same size as and draw visuals from the ledger drawings.

Opening statement from the curators.
Artwork on display.
Interactive art! Take one! Never again stamps.
This exhibit is a really great blending of history, art and cultural engagement and activism. The pieces, in a variety of formats from ink drawings to mixed-media, let the viewer ruminate on the past and draw lines to the present. I also found myself thinking about the past tribes of Florida, who are no longer around to speak to the tough times they faced when the Europeans arrived.

For more information, check out the Crisp-Ellert website.

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