A couple years ago I was doing a wheat paste installation on a friend's outhouse at his rodeo arena. A team roping competition was to start several hours later. I woke up around 5 a.m., drove an hour to the site and started working before sunrise. An 18 wheeler loaded with calves was parked nearby. A white cowboy emerged from the cab and groggily made his way to the outhouse. Upon seeing me he mumbled to himself "...Where else would you find on old black man wallpapering the outside of an outhouse at dawn at a rodeo event on an Indian reservation? Only in America." We both laughed. In retrospect, it was an improbable moment but in the words of Spaulding Gray, it was also a perfect moment in that it captured the bridge building potential of public art.
That's the question I get asked most frequently - what is an old black doctor doing wheat pasting images of Navajo people along the roadside on the reservation? It's an unlikely journey. However, upon further inspection it makes perfect sense.