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"Artmaking is not about how smart you are but rather about visualizing what you feel"

—Robert Zakanitch

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Tuesday
Oct112016

Chipeta, Ute Peacemaker and Leader

Some years back, a Meeker, Colorado client had inquired if I might paint a Ute Indian. In researching the history of the Utes, I read all I could find about Chipeta. My interest was heightened when I taught a workshop in Ridgway, Colorado and visited the Ute museum in Montrose. Chipeta and her brother Robert McCook are buried there. You can see Ute influences in the rock art and the people in my work (referencing "Connection to Ancestors" paintings.

Last Spring while preparing for the Sellars Project Space exhibition, NINE Colorado Artists, I made a painting of Chipeta, historic leader of the Utes. Wayne Iverson, Salida community activist, had begun a petition to move the name Chipeta Mountain, from a lower sub peak to the true 13,472-foot summit of the mountain. The Chipeta Mountain website will give you more information. If you agree, please sign the petition.

In support of Wayne’s petition, and to be in community with wonderful friends and colleagues in Salida, I donated the painting to be used to promote the renaming, in any form that Wayne and Jimmy Sellars thought useful. 

So here comes the part that touches me.  On October 8, 2016, Wayne was able to gift the painting to a great great grandson of Chipeta at a reconciliation ceremony in San Miguel County. You can read more about the event on the Facebook Page Indigenous Peoples Day-San Miguel County. I am so grateful and feel honored that the gift was received by an ancestor of this incredible woman and peaceful leader of the Utes.

Chipeta

McCook

Ute Elders

 

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