First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 76

REVIEWS all the Cherokee children that attended the Carlisle school. These seminal events in Cherokee history have been credited with many ill effects for contemporary Cherokee people. The interior of the basket contains text written in the Cherokee syllabary and images of fire that represent the vitality of Cherokee culture, Goshorn’s testament to its continuance despite the attempts to eradicate it. Farther back in the galler y, Remaining a Child is a rectangular form that integrates X-ray film and frosted vellum. When the interior light glows, the film exposes the glow of child-sized bones alluding to the remains of the children buried in the Carlisle cemetery. Once the contents are “exposed,” the form is recognizably a small coffin. An homage to the children who never returned to their families, this basket was woven using a pattern that recalls mountains, placing the children within the metaphorical arms of the earth mother. The powerful presence of the baskets is largely due to the archival above Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee), Resisting the Mission: Filling the Silence detail: Four Pueblo Children, 2017, two of fourteen baskets, Arches watercolor paper printed with archival inks, acrylic paint, artificial sinew, 21 × 63/4 × 63/4 in. each. Image courtesy of the artist. 74 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM photographs Goshorn uses as weaving material combined with customary Cherokee basket-weaving techniques. The delicate nature of the baskets is a gentle counterbalance to the heartrending imagery often woven in combination with historical text documents, reproduced in archivally safe materials so that Goshorn can use them as weaving materials for fine art. The photos and historical documents were uncovered during a long-term research project that Goshorn undertook to address the historical trauma resulting from the boarding school experience. The documents were culled from the Dickinson College library where the Carlisle archives are deposited. Carlisle Indian Industrial School was founded under the guidance of General Richard H. Pratt. The school operated from 1879 to 1918 and became the model for boarding schools used across the continent to intentionally separate tribal children from their home communities to teach them how to function as “Americans.” Due to the history of the school, it broadly remains an emotional trigger for the American Indian community and for many families, especially because of the atrocities committed against the children. Descendants of the 10,000 to 12,000 children who attended Carlisle can be traced to every state in the nation. While reading the names of the student rosters, Goshorn found her own great-grand- parents’ names. The opening of the exhibition coincided with the Carlisle Indian School Centennial Commemoration held October 4 to 7, also at Dickinson College. As a result, many at the conference, including descendants of the Carlisle student body, attended the opening, as did Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) who was a speaker at the conference. This made for an emotional reception, as people whose lives were indirectly affected by the school experienced Goshorn’s baskets in person, often for the first time. Among the attendees were the great-granddaughters of Carlisle student Tom Torlino (Navajo), the subject of perhaps the most recognizable photo because of its high-profile use in publications, which depicted the stark contrast in the young man’s persona and, notably, skin tone (obviously photographic