In 2006, artist Thom Ross began work on this extraordinary installation. Ross found a photo taken in 1902 of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Wild West Show taken on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Their were 108 figures in the original photo and the event caused quite a stir in San Francisco at the time.
Over two years, Ross recreated every figure in the photograph and installed them in their exact positions on Ocean Beach in 2008. The installation attracted more than 40,000 visitors.
Since that time, the installation had remained in storage in Seattle. When Ross applied to exhibit in the La Tienda Exhibit Space, he showed his installation photos and La Tienda asked if there was any way for them to be installed here.
What you see today is about 70 of the original installation. Ross reconfigured the art to fit the New Mexico landscape and left out all the cowboy figures. Beautifully installed, this new conception makes one feel as if the Indians are alive and gathering for some express purpose at La Tienda. Ross’ respect for the beauty, pagentry and magnificence of the Native American culture is palpable when viewing this installation.
The installation runs concurrently with the exhibit “Over El Dorado,” organized by Ross, in the La Tienda Exhibit Space. It will close on June 11 (unless we can collectively convince Ross to keep them up awhile longer). For more information about Ross and the installation, stop by the La Tienda Exhibit Space. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 – 5.
For more information from the artist about this installation, click here.