Banner Art detail: Hope Ricciardi, "Before the Lightning, Hermit's Rest"
I have worked with Violence Transformed for over 15 years as an artist and curator. It was not until my recent move to Arizona that I truly understood a large gap in my Northeast education and artistic mindset. The Southwest holds so many ancient sites which inform us to the beginnings of this land. The notion that “Columbus discovered America” is ludicrous and misinformed; this land was occupied for at least thousands of years before his existence. The ancestral tribes respected and cared for this land in a way that we have forgotten. “Dreams of Sacred Mountain” depicts the ancient petroglyphs of V Bar V Ranch, Sedona. This formation includes a calendar stone which uses the solstices to inform the ancient Sinaguans of planting cycles. The painting, “Before the Lightning” was completed onsite at Hermit’s Rest, Grand Canyon, AZ. Ancestors of the Havasupai nation were the first inhabitants of the Grand Canyon dating back around 10,000 years. How do we not demonstrate daily gratitude to these peoples for allowing us to share this land with them?