FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 04, 2023
Fort Sumner, NM – On Saturday, May 13, nearly a year after the grand opening of its permanent exhibition, Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site (BRM) will unveil an expansion of its interpretive offerings with the Pecos Riverwalk Trail and screen the premiere of Through My Eyes: Reflections on Bosque Redondo, a documentary filmed by the Memorial’s first artists-in-residence.
“Art, in all of its forms, is such an important avenue for storytelling at the Bosque Redondo Memorial, especially when words are not enough to depict the harsh reality that was the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation in the 1860s,” said Aaron Roth, regional manager of BRM. “As stewards of this history, we see the value that the Artist-in-Residence program provides. There are so many more facets of the Site’s history that need to be told. Art often provides a voice to those whose words are silenced by the trauma that this history has created.”
The Pecos Riverwalk Trail consists of a nature trail with hand-painted benches and an interpretive audio tour. The trail’s revision was made possible through a combination of local and national collaborations. At the local level, students from Fort Sumner High School Art Department designed a series of benches for the trail, featuring paintings of local flora that the Diné and Ndé interned on the reservation would have relied on, and Memorial staff produced an audio tour to complement the trail’s interpretation. Golden Artist Colors, out of New York, provided the paint for the benches, and Raw Materials Art Supplies, out of Los Angeles, equipped the students with equipment. The Friends of Bosque Redondo also purchased much needed materials. The audio tour, which provides context and history about the flora painted on the benches, was produced by BRM staff.
Through My Eyes: Reflections on Bosque Redondo is a documentary produced, filmed, and directed by DezBaa’ and her father David Henderson, the Memorial’s inaugural artists-in-residence. The documentary traces Henderson’s steps as he learns about and embraces his roots as Diné, supported by interviews with Bosque Redondo Memorial staff, DezBaa’ and Henderson’s relatives, and medicine people. The premiere will be livestreamed via Zoom.
The documentary was produced as part of the first BRM artist residency, which is a collaboration between the state arts agency New Mexico Arts and New Mexico Historic Sites. Read the announcement of the residency for further insight into DezBaa’, Henderson, and the collaboration between state agencies.
Schedule of Events
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Dedication of Pecos Riverwalk Trail
12:30 p.m.: The premiere of Through My Eyes: Reflection on Bosque Redondo, in-person and livestreamed
About New Mexico Arts
New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico.
About Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site
The Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site delivers visitors into the heart of history and tragedy. In 1863, some 10,000 Navajos were forced to make the “Long Walk,” 450 miles across New Mexico to the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, or H’weeldi, meaning place of suffering. Hundreds of Ndé were also interned there. Bosque Redondo Memorial was created in 2005 and revitalized in 2021 with strong support from the Diné and Ndé and designed by Diné architect David Sloan in the shape of a hogan and tepee. The permanent interpretive exhibition features evolving interactives, an interpretive trail, and programs for visitors.