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Indigenous Enslavement in Southern Colorado
Unsilenced: Indigenous Enslavement in Southern Colorado is an installation by artist jetsonorama at Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center. The installation will be on display in one of the original adobe buildings constructed in 1858. It incorporates historic photos of Indigenous captives and images of former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Lafayette Head's 1865 census of enslaved Indigenous people in Conejos and Costilla Counties. A space in the installation will offer visitors the opportunity to process and offer reflections on the work. The artist's interpretation is part of History Colorado's Borderlands of Southern Colorado initiative.
Chip Thomas, aka “jetsonorama,” is a photographer, public artist, activist, and physician who has been working on the Navajo Nation between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon since 1987. There, he coordinates the Painted Desert Project–a community building project which manifests as a constellation of murals across the Navajo Nation painted by artists from all over the reservation and the world. These murals aim to reflect love and appreciation of the rich history shared by the Navajo people back to Navajo people.
As a member of the Justseeds Artists Cooperative, he appreciates the opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded, socially engaged artists. You can find his large-scale photographs pasted on the roadside, on the sides of houses in the northern Arizona desert, on the graphics of the People's Climate March, Justseeds, and 350.org carbon emissions campaign material.
Thomas was a 2018 recipient of a Kindle Project gift and in 2020 he was one of a handful of artists chosen to recognize the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations’ founding.