I spent the early part of the pandemic (April to August), collaborating with poets Esther Belin, Jess X. Snow, Ursula Rucker, Mahogany L. Brown and Olmeca and visual artists Titus Brooks Heagins and André Leon Gray to create an online zine we call “Pandemic Chronicles, Volume 1.” We received contributions from Thea Gahr, Jayden Fields and Emory Douglas. From this has come 2 mural installation collaborations between Esther Belin and me in Phoenix – one at Walter Productions and at the Heard Museum.
The building used for the Walter Productions installation was the former home of Canyon Records constructed in 1951. Besides being one of the oldest independent records labels in the music industry the label focuses on Native American music. This space also housed a tv studio which produced a popular cooking show in the 1960s.
Inspired by Jordan Nez’s tattoo Esther wrote the poem “Believe” that imagines the time post pandemic.
Heard Museum – Phoenix, AZ – December 2020
Shout out to the homies Drew Ludwig, Elvis Taska, Esther Belin and to Kirk Strawn of Walter Productions for making this happen. Shout to my homie Erin Gramzinski of Mud House Productions for hooking it up on the visuals. I see you. And thank you Erin Joyce for the opportunity to get that word out at the Heard. Ya heard me?
And if you’re interested in the paperback version of Pandemic Chronicles, check it out: https://justseeds.org/product/pandemic-chronicles-volume-1/
Very cool to see what comes of taking inspiration from collaboration. Time well spent. Thanks to all.
I saw the first installation in this post driving across the Navajo Nation last week. It said so much about this last year I don’t have words for, not yet, and maybe not ever. Knowing how much more there is—the activism and the community building—it’s just exceptional. Public health and art and storytelling all together. I wish I had more to offer than awe.
Thank you for that Meg!
Chip. I met you briefly near Gray Mountain. I asked if you were “painting.” You said, “not painting, pasting.” I have driven through and around the Navajo and Hopi reservations for many years. I have seen many images both pasted and painted that I have photographed. Save The Confluence. Keep up the good work.