Suspended from the ceiling is a herd of blue buffalo, seventy-five of them, flying on wings. The buffalo tell the story of thousands of Native American children who, from the 17th Century through the 19th, were abducted from their families and enslaved on ranches and in homes across the Southwest. The Flying Blue Buffalo installation is the creation of veteran Santa Fe artist Armond Lara, and it's on view starting August 17 at the Santa Fe gallery, form & concept.
"I decided that all I would see was a cloud of blue. I thought it would be a beautiful presentation," says Mr. Lara. "That's the whole philosophy for Navajo people. Walk In Beauty. It has to be in a beautiful way. It doesn't have to be ugly, even though it is ugly. We can take the pride and the endurance of still being here. Like the buffalo."
Though he had painted blue buffalo for many years, Mr. Lara resisted the repeated suggestion that he create an installation based on the image. In this longer version of the interview, he explains why he eventually relented. "I finally figured out the only real reason to do it was to help that healing process -- for the descendants of both the Hispanics and the Native Americans. This is a part of our history."