With the assistance of a Cultural Trust Fund grant, Wyoming PBS has produced “The Art of Home: A Wind River Story” which will be broadcast for the first time on Monday, November 11 at 8 p.m, with a repeat scheduled for Friday, November 15 at 8 p.m.
Two indigenous artists create new works reflecting on their tribal homelands, the Wind River Indian Reservation. Ken Williams (Arapaho/ Seneca) is a celebrity on the Santa Fe art scene, and Sarah Ortegon (Shoshone) is an up and coming actress and artist in Denver. Both artists travel back to the Wind River Reservation to reconnect with their ancestors and heal old wounds as they discover what it means to go home to a land they feel an unexplainable connection with. Yet, neither of the artists lives there. The film explores the process of creating art, art as reconciliation, and what it means to be a ‘native artist’. Along the way, tribal elders from both the Arapaho and the Shoshone tribes provide historical context on the arts and crafts of their communities, passed down through the ages and drawing young artists to stay connected to “home”.
“Art of Home” underwent its premiere screening at the Native American Education Conference in Riverton at Central Wyoming College in August. There was a second screening event held at the Lander Valley High School Auditorium in Lander. A third screening is being planned for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in November, with a panel discussion to follow.
Wyoming PBS just recently received notice that PBS Plus has accepted “Art of Home” for national PBS distribution. The film will be included in their Native American Heritage program offerings for all PBS stations across the US to broadcast in November.