By Kimberly Marsh
Tulsa is not a gravesite. Tulsa is a garden. ~ Marlon F. Hall
In his upcoming art exhibition, #inagardennotagraveyard at The Greenwood Gallery, 10 N. Greenwood Ave. Tulsa Artist Fellow and Fulbright Specialist Marlon F. Hall offers a counter-narrative to the idea that Tulsa is defined by the tragedy and destruction of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
“Communities that are heritage rich and resource poor can forget the greatness of the past,” said Hall who is also a Visual Anthropologist. “This makes it hard to imagine the present and future visions.”
The exhibition will officially open on Nov. 5, at 6 p.m., the First Friday Art Crawl, with a musical performance by Danielle Tisdale and Charlie Redd and a public reception and launch party. A soft launch of the exhibit will begin Oct. 27. The community is invited to engage in this immersive and evolving healing experience through Nov. 30, Hall said. The Greenwood Gallery weekly hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Tulsa ethnographic poets Jerica Wortham and Kode Ransom, with filmmaker Brandon Wade, have joined Hall in this exhibition to work with local social sculptors and musicians to inspire growth through the healing power of story. Hall said they have cultivated a space where visitors can authentically (re)narrate themselves as gardeners of life’s hope rather than just grave keepers of the city’s painful history from October 27th – November 11th. This will inform a photography series with audio-artifacts, videos, and pictures from November 13th – November 30th shaped by the stories people share.
The three-part exhibit will take visitors on a journey where seekers, storytellers, healers, and change-makers will create Tulsa’s new narrative for all African Americans directly impacted by the burying of a horrific history.
Visitors will be invited to enter the “story pod” in the Gallery to re-narrate the Tulsa story. Five African American storytellers will be selected and featured in photos, audio and video in the last three weeks of the exhibition.Elements of the final works of art will travel the city to be exhibited in public facing businesses like Fulton Street Books and Coffee, Inheritance Juicery, and The Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge.