The G.A.P. Van Poster Project: Community Amnesia Therapy

Powered by PBS American Portrait and Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, The G.A.P. Van is a multi-use collaborative mobile art exhibition, workshop space, and poster project.

By The Greenwood Art Project

Led by artists Rick Lowe and William Cordova, The G.A.P. van has officially launched the Greenwood Art Project with a team of Tulsa citizens. Activist Kode Ransom, Poet Jerica Wortham, filmmaker Jeff Van Haken, and visual-anthropologist Marlon Hall travel throughout Tulsa to engage community residents to create posters that share stories about the massacre. It strives to reflect their voices and to advance a powerful and healing approach to the commemoration of the Tulsa Massacre.

The Gap Van Sees, Marlon F. Hall, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
The GAP Van Outing, Marlon F. Hall, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
Hands Raised Too, Marlon F. Hall, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

Travelers from all over the nation were drawn by the winds of laughter and sophisticated ease that swept the streets clean of prejudice. On June 1st of 1921 thousands of people were massacred and every building burned by a racist attack on the community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The trauma still lingers in the Greenwood community.

Once known as Black Wall Street for its Black and bold genius, this community was a thriving testament to the freedom and justice for all that sings America whole. The success of Greenwood produced over 300 businesses in a 34 square block radius and sustainable community practices. It drew what is today called the single worst incident of racial violence in American history. For nearly 100 years this story has been forgotten and buried in the ashes of trauma and past pain.

Side Eyed, Marlon F. Hall, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

The acronym “G.A.P VAN” is a reference to the R&B group The GAP BAND. It also stands for Greenwood, Archer and Pine. These are the boundary streets of historic Greenwood District.

Amnesia is the result of mental, physical, or emotional trauma that creates memory loss. Sometimes the trauma of what communities go through can knock the memory of who they are, what they can contribute, and why those contributions are important right out of them.

The work of the Greenwood Art Project is to create art therapy for the souls of the Tulsa community while re-narrating beauty from the ashes. This is an effort to remember who we were and imagine who we can become. Memory informs imagination!

The Greenwood Art Project, Tupa©Knows, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

Malcolm X and Dr. Huey P. Newton appear in this poster as astronauts. This image conjures the intergalactic nature of being black and powerful and strong.

The Greenwood Art Project, Tupa©Knows, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

This graphic art by Tupa©Knows is a visual conversation about the power and history that emanates from the work of the Greenwood Art Project. 

The lack of cultural memory caused by trauma impairs the life of a community's imagination for present and future possibility. This community amnesia has symptoms that resemble the memory loss of an individual only the impact is collectively more severe.

The Gap Van Sees (2020) by Marlon F. HallThe Greenwood Art Project

Hands Raised Too (2020) by Marlon F. HallThe Greenwood Art Project

Hands Raised

This is an image of a collage that wraps around the G.A.P. van. It is as a symbol of the choice many Tulsans are making to live out the legacy of past greatness now. 

Side Eyed (2020) by Marlon F. HallThe Greenwood Art Project

Hands Raised Too (2020) by Marlon F. HallThe Greenwood Art Project

The images in the photos are past and present residents with iconic members of Black History.

Hands Raised (2020) by Marlon F. HallThe Greenwood Art Project

Resilience 4 (2020) by N. Masani LandfairThe Greenwood Art Project

The Poster Project Component

Artists of every kind are asked to submit posters that will be exhibited on the van until June 2021. The goal is to provide healing through poster workshops.

Resilience 3, N. Masani Landfair, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
Resilience 2, N. Masani Landfair, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
Resilience 5, N. Masani Landfair, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

This is a series of 16 x 20 collage posters made on paper by N. Masani Landfall. This submission includes artifact images from the Tulsa Race Massacre also known as a holocaust. Images of fire rise within the poster to denote the resilience of the people of Tulsa and Greenwood.

Resilience 4 (2020) by N. Masani LandfairThe Greenwood Art Project

Pride and Shame, Molly Burns, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
Mistrust, Molly Burns, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
,
hopeless. hopefull., Molly Burns, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

The G.A.P. Van and The Poster Project are designed to remember Tulsa and the Greenwood Community back to its past greatness through the power of being present. A kind of presence that comes through art. We want to revive community memory in Tulsa and Greenwood specifically through imaginative programming.

Pride and Shame (2020) by Molly BurnsThe Greenwood Art Project

Pride and Shame

The multi-faceted life and history of Tulsa are clear in this poster made by Molly Burns. Pridefully drawing the legacy and success of Black Wall Street doesn't come without the shameful grit of the Massacre of 1921.

Sister, Tupac Knows, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more
Sisters Black, TupacKnows, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more
Ruth Dean Nash, Ebony Farashuu, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

This poster was designed by Ebony Farashuu in homage to her ancestor Ruth Dean Nash who was a survivor of the Greenwood Massacre of 1921.

Ruth Dean Nash, Ebony Farashuu, 2020, From the collection of: The Greenwood Art Project
Show lessRead more

As community members intentionally place pens, paint brushes, and found objects onto their canvases; they will discover a healing presence that may unlock the potential of the future through interactive art therapy.

Credits: Story

Lead Artists Rick Lowe and William Cordova
Marlon F. Hall,  Writer, Curator, and Photography 
Ebony Farashuu, Poster Artist
Tupa©Knows,  Poster Artist
N. Masani Landfall. Poster Artist
Molly Burns, Poster Artist

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps