Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hard Bargain

I've just released the third in the series of the Fort Loudoun Anniversary prints. Full press release below.

Hard Bargain: The Cherokee Prepare for War – A New Painting by Ken Smith

WHO: Ken Smith, Historical Artist

WHAT: Hard Bargain: The Cherokee Prepare for War, 1758, Painting to be Unveiled at Colonial Trade Fair

WHEN: September 6, 2008

WHERE: Fort Loudoun State Historic Area and

Vonore, Tennessee. Carefully inspecting the English gifts, Sower Hominey, the Great Conjurer of Chotee [sic], a chief of the Overhill Cherokee, weighs the pros and cons of helping the British in their war against the French. Ensign Bogges of the Independent Company of South Carolina watches for signs of acceptance, while trader Samuel Benn contemplates this depletion of his assets. British regular and Cherokee warriors stand as mute witness to this scene of war-making in March of 1758. These are the figures portrayed in Ken Smith’s latest historical painting commemorating the 250th anniversary of the life of Fort Loudoun. A limited edition of 250 prints will be available for sale to the public, and the art will be on permanent loan to the Fort Loudoun Association, to be displayed at the Fort Loudoun State Historic Area Visitor Center..

This is the third painting by Smith in the five-year build-up to the 250th anniversary of the fall of Fort Loudoun. The Fort Loudoun Association commissioned Smith to create historical paintings based on events of each year of the fort’s existence. The first painting was Over the Hills: Sergeant Gibbs and the Advance Party, which depicted the partnership between the Cherokee and the Redcoats in securing a site for the building of the fort. The second painting was Mud and Blood: Carolina Builds a Fort in the Overhills. A grimy crew began the tiring process of building the structures of the fort and its protective earthworks.

The third painting, though still showing the camaraderie between the Cherokee and British, beings to foreshadow the darker history of the fort. An ominous cloud looms above the gathering and there is a subtle divide between the sides - the Cherokee to one side and the British to the other. A dissension between the factions will continue to present itself in next year’s artwork, and will culminate dramatically in the fifth and final painting of the series, the massacre at Cane Creek.

“A Hard Bargain shows the ambivalent attitude between the Cherokee and the British. The Cherokee warrior is surely driving a hard bargain, but he’s also dealing with the inevitable results of the Cherokee people’s growing dependence on the English trade goods,” the artist says about his latest painting.

Smith’s painting, Over the Hills, may also look familiar to those who have not yet visited historic Fort Loudoun, as it is prominently featured in the new Museum of East Tennessee History’s permanent exhibit. Also included in the exhibit is another Ken Smith painting of the Fort Loudoun, which is not included in the fort's commemoration series.

Hard Bargain was unveiled Saturday, September 6, 2008, during Fort Loudoun’s Annual Colonial Trade Faire and will remain at the park’s Visitor Center after the Trade Faire is concluded. Limited edition prints of Hard Bargain are also available for purchase at this time, as well as prints from the previous years.

For more information about Fort Loudoun’s Colonial Trade Fair or to purchase prints, call Angie King at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area (432-884-6217), or to see more of Smith’s work, visit