Coyote and the New Paradigm

Split Rock by Richard Letham

Split Rock by Richard Letham

This poignant work of art by renowned Maine artist Richard Letham can be viewed along with 49 other extraordinary works of art at the University of New England’s Gallery in Portland, Maine. The exhibition titled “Coyote Connections” will be up for our communities to experience until January 15, 2015.

We asked each artist to write a reflection regarding their art piece, and the following is his:

“In pondering your challenge ((he speaks of “challenge” as our invitation to participate in this special exhibit), it was first necessary to read the book you recommended on Coyote behavior for background information(that book is The Voice of the Coyote by Frank Dobie).  Then a thorough immersion into Coyote Reader by William Bright to absorb the legendary myths passed down mostly from the Native American point of view.

That provoked me to re-read “Black Elk Speaks” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” which rekindled my outrage at our history of genocide and loss of the Indian environmental wisdom.

The resulting large painting called “Split Rock” refers to one of those Native American legends which predicts the emergence of a new world paradigm of peace and appreciation for life on earth when the rock splits.”

And so this artist set Coyote in the context of that “split rock” ……Coyote comes before us and speaks…..”How will you continue to treat me….for how you treat me predicts the measure of the emergence of the new world paradigm.”