Pioneering multimedia installation immerses visitors in an aspiring vision of joy and confronts them with our modern day crisis of injustice for the African American in America
From May 5 through June 19th 2021, the respected artist Dawn Tree will take up the space of the Greenarch Building for a breathtaking art show combining visual artworks, film, animation, and sound. This adventure will invite the visitor to reflect on what joy feels like while dissecting the issues continuing to plague the black community. The Greenwood Joy Experience is a 1 hour immersive experience that reconnects visitors to themselves, the Greenwood legacy, and humanity.
The exhibition will show privately on these days:
May 5th Cinco de Mayo …………………3-8pm
May 22 ………………………………………….3-8pm
May 29 Facebook Live Exhibition …12pm
May 31 Massacre Commemoration ..12-7pm
June 19 Juneteenth………………………..12-7pm
Greenarch. 10 N. Greenwood Ave. Tulsa, OK
- Virtual Exhibition will launch April 30th
- COVID-19 precautions will be taken
- Number of tickets limited due to COVID-19
Interviews with Dawn Tree
Private press sessions to view exhibition space
- May 3
- May 26
Tulsa’s Black Wall Street: A Modernized Revelation
For press and interview requests, contact:
Pinky Joy, Underground Tree Studios
More about Dawn Tree
By Colette Gaiter
Dawn Tree uses visual and botanical properties of trees as a metaphor for her multimedia work in graphic design and visual art. Referencing her personal experiences of rootedness and displacement, the logo for her creative art studio Underground Tree Studios features massive roots of an upside-down tree reaching for the sky. She explains, “it only takes one good root for a tree to grow; branches can break and leaves can blow off during any season.” Dawn Tree left the Washington, DC area to return to Oklahoma because of her Tulsa community relationships. During the uprising following Freddy Gray’s murder in 2015, she spent some time in Baltimore then returned to her roots.
Photographic collages for her 2019 graphic art book, Tulsa’s Black Wall Street: A Modernized Revelation, use materials and images differently from her previous and current non-representational abstract paintings on found wood. Combining archival photographs, newspaper clippings, and related found text, the multi-layered book images all simulate three-dimensional space, defying traditional flat collage techniques. “Drexel Vibes” shows the most extreme formal perspective—bringing the viewer into the image’s layers—and juxtaposes photographs representing two principal characters from one of the massacre’s origin stories. The story of these two young people in the Drexel office building, never ultimately confirmed from its different versions, became a myth embodying the massacre’s senselessness. Like all myths, the story attempts to explain the unexplainable. This one frames the incident of a young Black man’s arrest for allegedly assaulting a White woman as the massacre’s point of provocation. A persistent alternative story is that the two were in a forbidden interracial romantic relationship, and a lover’s quarrel in the elevator the young woman operated was misconstrued as an attack. As in her other images, Dawn Tree juxtaposes revised history and prevailing mythology, reflecting how African Americans in Tulsa and elsewhere have to establish a clarifying reality that pierces through privileged and White supremacist thought.
The book images consistently feature forests and trees in the area surrounding Greenwood and Tulsa. Towering trees represent “natural and organic”; they stand strong and are supposed to be there. This correlates with the community, which was built. The trees were there first. Their lofty foundational presence situates subsequent events on a continuum of human history that displaced them—just as White residents of Tulsa tried to remove the Black people who had built a thriving community of their own.
Continuing her tradition of inviting viewer interaction, Dawn Tree’s multi-part interactive installation combines projected moving and still images. Iconic images from her book join new visualizations that continue the story of reinvented Black life in Greenwood. She invites residents to imagine their future through digital responses (that she will synthesize and share) to specific questions about what they would like to see in Greenwood’s future. Dawn Tree continues working with young people to visualize within the installation spaces their dreamed future in Tulsa. Dawn Tree’s installation combs through the past for discarded history, current motivation, and guidance for achieving “future justice and restored economic prosperity.”