TODAY, WE CELEBRATE… Exactly two years ago, almost to this very day, I was at the Princeton University Art Museum appreciating the sweeping exhibition Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (which was accompanied by a beautiful and expansive 448-page book). In the introductory gallery, was an extraordinary painting, The Browning of America, 2000, by Indigenous Salish and Kootenai artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. I have little doubt that, today the artist is smiling, celebrating the news: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first African American, the first Asian American elected to that office; and, in the artist’s home state of New Mexico person-of-color members have been elected or re-elected in the Senate, the House, and the State Senate in large numbers drawing attention of international media. Let us celebrate The Browning of America!
TODAY, WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE… President-elect Joe Biden has taken swift action, and introduced earlier this morning, the members of his coronavirus task force—a large team of public health and science experts who will start their work right away “to develop a blueprint for fighting the coronavirus,” the Associated Press reports. Last week, the daily average of coronavirus infections for the week in the U.S. had surpassed 100,000 per day.
TODAY, WE CELEBRATE… As you turn the corner after The Browning of America in the introductory gallery of Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, you would have seen my photograph Caribou Migration I, 2002, from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The pregnant caribou were on an arduous journey to the Coastal Plain where they would give birth and nurse their calves—a place the Indigenous Gwich’in people call, “the sacred place where life begins.” Today, we celebrate the imperiled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its connection to other national wildlife refuges all across the United States.