JOURNEY GATES AT BAR KOCHBA RANCH
My family has always had a fascination with history and I’ve been no different. The general concept for the historical gate and murals came from the Plains Indians tradition of painting “The Winter Counts” on teepee walls. This type of art could highlight events in their own personal lives or in the history of their tribe. I knew images and events that I wanted to portray, but did not have any idea who could draw the images, what medium to use or how to get a project such as this off the ground.
Several years ago, while at The Ranch of Hope, I talked about this idea. Hope Taylor listened to the concept and general ideas. Although she did not say much that evening, she shortly introduced me to the very talented artist and I must say, philosopher, Lorna Perkins. Lorna spent several weeks both in Westcliffe and in Jacksonville, Florida chatting with me, drawing and re-drawing the images that you now see on the murals. We had many great discussions about history and other spiritual matters. She was a guiding force in every part of this project.
The project was also embraced by other talented artisans in Iowa, Nebraska and Florence, Colorado. Historical events here are sometimes clearly depicted, but at other times only symbolically represented. The idea is to have some fun, and do your own research on some of the events depicted. This is a good idea when it comes to history anyway, since the truth is often a little bit more complex than is commonly depicted. Historical events are of course subject to varying interpretations based on people’s cultures, biases, and familiarity with facts. The events, people and animals depicted on these murals, are things that have interested me all my life. I call these The Journey Gates because we are all on a journey as a people, nation, and certainly as individuals. It is important that we grow and evolve, and it is hard to do that without thinking about and understanding our history.