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HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • SAWKILLE Co. 31 West Market Street Rhinebeck, NY, 12572 United States (map)
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6 pm water ceremony by special guest Fidel Moreno

10 minutes of GATHERING OUR HEARTS AT STANDING ROCK documentary -produced and directed by Fidel Moreno & Rick Kiorlich.


How the West was Won (A Re-education) comes from Jonah Meyer, artist/sculptor turned furniture maker who has for the past ten years primarily shown through Sawkille Co., a solid wood, shaker style furniture company Meyer co-owns with his wife Tara DeLisio in upstate NY. The show, which opens October 6th, comprises of furniture pieces, sculptures, wall hangings, drawings, and for the first time in Meyer’s career, prints. Across all of these mediums, Meyer begins by cutting cartoonish shapes out of reclaimed wood using a bandsaw. These pieces in the shape of circles, raindrops, trees, sunsets, figures, tools, and symbols of the American west are variably used to adorn bureau cabinets, compose narrative wall hangings, and become woodblocks for relief prints. Together the works are hung in a saloon-style installation in Sawkille’s Rhinebeck showroom alongside select pieces from the company’s typical furniture line.

The cover images for the show, a silhouette of Abe Lincoln and a bureau featuring cut wood adornments whose imagery draws from a wild west cartoon (guns, skulls, flags), are not the only pieces in Meyer’s recent body of work that employs imagery of the tools of violence, colonization, and oppression wielded against indigenous people in the United States for the past four centuries, though not all are as opaque. Agricultural tools, settlements, cut logs – all of these images center in the works reflecting on Meyer’s self- re-education about U.S. transgressions against Native Americans, upon which he embarked during protests at Standing Rock last year. From Jamestown to Wounded Knee to contemporary recognition rights, Meyer has spent his nights ferociously reading anything he can to overcome the historical amnesia of land theft and genocide upon which our country is built and within which he grew up in rural Pennsylvania taking shots at soda cans to practice aim. Meyer’s subtitle, A Re-education, refers to his own grappling and coming to terms with the atrocities committed by white men to “win” the west and the country writ large.

Half of the proceeds from prints sold will be donated to Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund, a legal fund that supports indigenous activists facing charges from non-violent acts of resistance against the DAPL pipeline.


Special guest Fidel Moreno:

It is our honor to welcome Oscar-nominated director Fidel Moreno to facilitate a water blessing ceremony to open the evening's festivities, followed by a teaser of his work-in-progress documentary, Gathering Our Hearts at Standing Rock. Culled from over 18 hours of interviews with 33 people at Standing Rock — including youth, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, First Nation people and non-Indian supporters — Gathering Our Hearts at Standing Rock is an ongoing documentary project, chronicling the story of the protesters at Standing Rock and their connection to the history of the American Indian Movement on their treaty-given lands of the American west. The portion shown will run approximately 10 minutes.

Moreno will also be accepting donations for his upcoming "We Are Earth Protectors" tour for the fall of 2017 in the Northeast region and selling WATER IS LIFE t-shirts. He invites all interested to CELEBRATE INDIGENOUS CULTURES AND PEOPLES DAY on Monday, October 9th (aka Columbus Day) from 10 am til 8 pm with live music, social friendship dances, an ancestral feast of three sisters stew with venison, native crafts, high mass for reconciliation, and a Wiping the Tears Ceremony for those who have lost loved ones in the recent past. The event will be held at the Shaker Mill Inn at the Falls, 40 Cherry Lane, Canaan, NY 12019.