The Texas Story Project.
"Painting, to me, is just another form of storytelling. It's another way of teaching," explains Eric Tippeconnic, a professor of history and professional artist. "I want people outside to use my work as a way to step off into a story about who the Comanche people were and who the Comanche people are."
While growing up on reservations across the United States, Tippeconnic would attend numerous dances. Watching intently, he'd take note of the dancers and activity and, when he returned home, he'd begin to draw. "The vibrant colors, the sudden movements, the pace and flow of the materials. I would try to capture the motion," he recalls.
Filled with symbolism and meaning, Tippeconnic's paintings blend the past with the present, highlighting the strength, beauty, and grace of the Comanche. "I like to feature parts of traditional Comanche culture mixed in with contemporary imagery," Tippeconnic says. "You'll see Comanche men with headdresses wearing suits and ties." The paintings are rich with history and the unbroken connection the Comanche people have with their roots, but is full of movement, color, and life — a bold statement that Comanche culture is vibrantly alive in the modern world.
"The whole idea is that we aren't a remnant of the past, we're not from some bygone historical era. We're doctors, we're lawyers, we're professionals," Tippeconnnic reflects. "We're professors as well."
Editor's note: This story was produced by the Bullock Museum for the Texas Story Project. It compliments the exhibition Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic, on view April 14, 2018 to January 2, 2019.
Posted August 30, 2018