Something new is coming to the Hardesty Arts Center just in time for next week's First Friday Art Crawl in the Brady Arts District. It's an exhibit of contemporary Native American weaving.
The inspiration for one of the artists was stories from her grandmother.
Artist Sarah Sense is working on two large wall hangings that will be featured as part of this new exhibit at the Hardesty Arts Center. They, along with the other pieces she has brought along for this exhibition, relate to a favorite story she heard from her Choctaw grandmother.
"This is basically a story about how the Choctaw Nation - 16 years after the Trail of Tears when they were removed from their ancestral land and marched here to Oklahoma - 16 years later the Irish famine was happening and the Choctaws raised about $170 and sent it to Ireland to help," said artist Sarah Sense.
That was about $20,000 in today's money, significant in that the Choctaws were about the only ones to offer any assistance, and the Irish have never forgotten. Sarah moved to Ireland to study that story from their perspective, and this exhibit will combine all the elements to honor her grandmother's story.
Let me show you, she said. She took us to one of her artist proofs to explain.
"This is a digital print in the background," Sense said. It's a photo of the Irish coast etched into the foreground. River cane, a bamboo like growth that might be used to weave traditional baskets, basket patterns, are woven into the piece as well.
Tulsa artist Shan Goshorn's work is also part of this exhibit. Her baskets always require a second look. The paper she uses is printed with a story or a piece of history - always more than just a basket.
Sarah still has some work to do to finish up these large pieces before the opening next week. The exhibition opens Friday, May 1st and runs through July 5th.