Interesting thing about internet news – a headline can catch your attention, and then you can follow links in all directions and find that things mentioned are not always what they seem.
The reports of the Water Protector actions in South Dakota caught my eye, and the arrest of Red Fawn Fallis felt particularly poignant. Who is she? I don’t really know, because I wasn’t at Standing Rock. I wasn’t there, and I am grateful for those who were. Are all the stories told about her true? I don’t know. But I read that she stood up in the face of force to protect water that is the lifeblood of our continent, and I know that she went to prison. That is not acceptable.
I read that her offending statement, as the U.S. government was fronting industry on the pipeline trail, included the words “Water is Life.” Yes, it is.
So I turned my River Painting Series off to the west to spend some time with Lake Oahe. As I was painting, the “Dakota Lullaby” by Sioux Falls songwriter Tom Peterson, came often to mind.
Mike and I heard this beautiful song during a singing evening at a very special home in Tucson, Arizona, and our desire to learn the song led us to further sessions with rare and wonderful musicians in Tucson who shared that song and many more western tunes that we love to sing.
By the time I finished the painting, the image and the song were deeply intertwined. I asked Tom Peterson if we could record his song and post it, and in making the request I realized that I was meeting another remarkable musician. He said, yes, we could post the song.
I love the Dakota Lullaby, and look forward to singing it over and over with everyone who wants to sing it with me.
Meanwhile, Red Fawn Fallis. The Water Protector Legal Collective is beautifully present on the internet, and while I read their list of ways to offer support to prisoners in the water battles, the poster of Lake Oahe appeared in my imagination as a flyer to throw to the wind, to the world, to help connect as many people as possible in support of those who have been penalized for their participation in the water protecting action at Standing Rock, South Dakota.
So Tom Peterson said yes. I finished the painting, and the folks at Pro Camera in Charlottesville, Virginia digitalized it. Michael Wright recorded our version of Dakota Lullaby, and I made a slide show of images from the painting. Amanda Polson put the show on the Living Traditional Arts website, and Print Source in Charlottesville is printing the posters.
$ to the photographer, $ to printer, $ to the artist, $ to the Water Protectors Legal Collective.
Step right up and get your copy!
Go to the SHOP at www.livingtradidionalarts.com