They Know Who They Are

They Know Who They Are

by Mike & Martha Larsen, Martha Larsen



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They Know Who They Are by Mike & Martha Larsen, Martha Larsen

A stunning collection of paintings of living Chickasaw elders

In August 2004, Oklahoma Centennial project artist Mike Larsen approached Chickasaw Nation leaders with an idea to honor living Chickasaw elders—sages of his own tribe. He wanted to learn about their families and hear their stories, and he wanted to connect with their Chickasaw strength and spirit. Larsen’s vision was to paint a series of portraits of these elders.

Accompanied by his wife, Martha Larsen, the artist began a creative process that turned into a personal journey. During the interviews, the Larsens were often treated like members of the elders’ families. They listened and learned what it means to be Chickasaw—what it means to “know who you are.” In the Larsen studio, carefully rendered sketches progressed from paper to canvas to yield the 24 remarkable paintings reproduced in this volume. Martha Larsen has written a richly detailed narrative, based on each elder’s interview, documenting his or her cultural beliefs, experiences, and history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979785849
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date: 01/15/2009
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 12.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Chickasaw artist and sculptor Mike Larsen grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. Especially known for his paintings and sculptures of dancing figures, he was commissioned by the State of Oklahoma to paint the 26-foot mural in the capital rotunda that features five internationally prominent American Indian ballerinas born in Oklahoma. His award-winning work has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States.

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