Choctaw Family – Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center
Location: Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center – Talihina, Oklahoma
Size: 60 feet wide by 16 feet tall
Located in Talihina, Oklahoma is the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center. Matthew created a sculpture installation to welcome patients to the center, and encourage a calming environment. This installation was created in the spirit of honoring family, a cornerstone in the Choctaw culture. Six life-sized, bronze figures are placed on the plaza, patinaed with rich and earthy brown tones. All six of the figures are dressed in the traditional Choctaw attire. Worked into each of the women’s dresses are intricate diamonds outlining the wrist cuffs, ruffles in the dresses, and the aprons. One of the girls dawns a Choctaw crown. Tassels are seen delicately flowing from the girls’ aprons. The grandfather is seen wearing a traditional high crown Choctaw hat, wearing the customary pants and shirt, decorated in Choctaw diamonds. He is finished with a traditional beaded medallion necklace hanging from his neck. Around his waist is a thick-banded belt, decorated in an elaborate beaded pattern. The grandson standing nearby matches the grandfather’s attire.
The three young Choctaw girls dance a traditional dance with hands interlocked. The matriarch of the family, the grandmother, stands nearby and watches the girls as they laugh and dance. On the opposite side of the plaza sits the grandfather, with his grandson. The entire scene is framed by two colorful leaf spires, measuring 14-feet-tall and 28-feet-long, encircled with colorful oak leaves.
Continuing the theme into the building, more leaves are found in the main atrium reception area, suspended from the ceiling. Appearing to be gently drifting in the soft breeze, the leaves vary in size from one-foot ling all the up to 5-foot-long leaves. Each leaf is finished in different tones of vibrant greens, deep turquoise, golden yellow, and warm brown.
The installation embodies the rich culture, enduring traditions, and the joyous spirit of the Choctaw Nation. Matthew’s hope for this piece is to bring joy to generations of patients, visitors and staff of the Choctaw Nation Health Care facility for years to come.