Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Orphan Child

The Bell Tower
On a recent trip to San Fidel, New Mexico my sister and I drove by the now abandoned San Fidel Indian School. It was one of the many church run boarding schools supported by the government in the late 1800's in the United States. Here is a link to NPR's program on the subject. I will let them tell the tale.

Fortunately we no longer take Indian children from their parents and their culture and this particular Catholic owned church and school is abandoned. Given the age and architecture of this church that is rather sad and so I recorded it digitally as I do many of the New Mexico Churches I see and one day plan to paint. It was a stormy day and the abandoned buildings seemed haunted by disturbing spirits. I know that is rather airy fairy but do believe negative energy can be attached to places.

One of the pictures I took had a raven on the north bell tower. Visions of Edgar Allan Poe. And Juan Carlos Castaneda. Death comes from the left - life from the right. As I contemplated painting this church I could not get past that vision so I decided to paint it. I knew it would be one of my orphan child paintings - paintings that don't fit with the body of my work due to subject or color - but while this is not my story to tell, it is also not my story to ignore. Those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

I was going to display this painting at the gala reception at the gallery last night but it didn't fit with the others I took. I plan to enter it in the Winter Invitational Exhibit. Juried exhibits are where many of my orphan children go. And they seem to win awards if not purchases.


  1. good 4 you,

    have fun sharing your art...

  2. Taking indigenous children from their parents was done in Australia too - the stolen generation. It continued right into the 1970s I believe. What an arrogant mindset that was.
    It's good that you are recording the churches.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.