Blue Star Integrative Studio is honored to be working with the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma to design the expansion and renovation of the Hope & Recovery Center in White Eagle, Oklahoma. This residential treatment facility serves those seeking to win their battles with substance abuse, and it provides much-needed support to those within a historically underserved community. Blue Star worked side by side with Tribal leaders and program directors to deeply listen, design, and responsively represent Ponca culture and colors throughout the facility.
One of the ways to accomplish this culturally-responsive project was Blue Star seeking out and enlisting artist and activist Jeremy Fields, Founder of Thrive Unlimited. Jeremy (Pawnee | Apsáalooke | Chickasaw) is a wellness educator driven by a passion for empowering Indigenous people to heal and prosper while amplifying the narrative of self-determination. Fields was tasked with creating a mural in the commons room for the Hope & Recovery Center. He started his research by reaching out to traditional Ponca people he knew from his PowWow days and other cultural gatherings and drew inspiration from the Fancy Dance World Championships held in the region each year. Jeremy fondly recalled times spent with his father dancing (both were fancy dancers in their younger years), and it was a stage in Jeremy’s life when he felt most alive and at his best spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. He chose the image of the Fancy Dancer to represent strength, clarity and vibrancy of living a good life - hopefully an inspiration to those working to put their lives back together at the Hope & Recovery Center. Rooted in historical, cultural, and personal history, Jeremy’s fancy dancer mural is a fitting addition to this regional facility helping Native men and women who find comfort and healing in this space.
Daniel Sherron, the Health Services Director for the Tribe, said of the mural: “Those in alcohol and drug situations need constant reassurance and focus on well-being in a variety of aspects. In addition to the physical state one must be in to perform this dance, cultural connection and honoring of tradition can be huge catalysts for those attempting to change their lives and seek direction. I very much appreciate the artwork and our people are home of the World Championship (of fancy dance), something we are all proud of.”
We look forward to the ribbon cutting for this important facility – stay tuned for details!
In the following video, you’ll learn more about the beautiful mural completed by Jeremy, hear his story and motivation, and better understand the value of art in healing environments.
Wihblaho | Miigwetch | Mvto | Wopila | Gracias | Thank you