Archive for April 24th, 2012
By Kim Briggeman, of the Missoulian:
The way Geraldine Pete sees it, a treaty that’s been broken might as well be erased.
That was what the University of Montana art student had in mind when she lugged rolls of art paper 30 feet long and 3 1/2 feet wide to the Kyi-Yo Indian Celebration in the Adams Center last weekend.
On them she wrote the first few articles of the Hellgate Treaty of 1855, the one that ostensibly created the Flathead Reservation, and invited powwow attendees to have their way with it.
Pete even provided erasers, a pink one labeled “For Big Mistakes” and a blue one that said “OOPS.”
Her abstract of the “Big Mistake Art Event” said it was meant to provide “comic relief for a devastating historic occurrence” – even as she realized there are those who wouldn’t view a treaty more than 150 years old as such, and even more who have no idea what the Hellgate Treaty was.
“It’s my first art installation, and it has to do with social practice artwork,” explained Pete, who enrolled in the art program at UM after receiving a graduate degree in counselor education. “It involves everything here – the energy, the dancing and just participating in the celebration. And I think erasing is one way to celebrate.”
Sheryl Noethe had another way.