It’s time to go home. But where is that? Chris Pappan (Kaw) is from Flagstaff, Ariz. Now he lives in Chicago. But home for him is also Kansas, the ancestral homelands of his people, the people of the south wind.
Chris sees his culture in the ledger art of the past, a distinct form of historical prison art those before him created to tell the world about their home, their people, their ways. His ways. But the art is evolving, growing, connecting the world.
In the 1870s the Fort Marion prisoners — made up of Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho and Caddo warriors — became prolific ledger artists. Like them, Chris can take anything he has and turn it into art. He sees his style in theirs, connecting him to the past as he lives in the present and moves forward into the future. The future for him is a learning process of finding his way back home.
Kansas derives its name from the Kanza, or Kaw, people. In popular culture, Kansas is known as “no place like home.” Chris sees this from a different perspective, a much older one than the Wizard of Oz.
But Chris’ ledger art — the distorted images and displaced people spread across old maps — takes his home around the world. His art has brought invitations from places like the Kansas Historical Society, and Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol, UK.