But for a special project commissioned by the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center
, Tim Saupitty
has found that recreating his uncle's work by way of a rare medium
has evolved into a way for him to help preserve a rich historical record.
created a replica of a Nazi
armored fighting vehicle flag that his grandmother's brother, Larry
Saupitty, used to record his World War II journey through Europe and
history as one of the legendary Comanche Code Talkers.
"It's an honor to do it, to show our people, as well as the public, some history our history," Tim Saupitty
The artist painstakingly brush-stroked lettering to match his grand-uncle's writing, rarely looking up from the task at hand while speaking.
Using a mosaic of scale photos taken of the original banner, the artist focused on the details.
is a well-known Comanche artist who has been at his craft full time for the past 17 or 18 years.
Art is who he is, he said.
is the most appropriate person for this project to get the job done and to keep it within the Saupitty family," she said.
honed his artist's skills as the "baby" of the Comanche Gallery
of Art group in the 1980s artists that included Leonard Riddles,
Cynthia Clay, Doc Tate Nevaquaya, Woogie Watchetaker and Wakeah Bradley.
"That's a whole world of Indian art I studied under," Tim Saupitty
is known for his works depicting the warrior and mystical elements of Southern Plains Indian culture.
While the latest project could be considered more typographical than expressive, he sees the project as an extension of what he generally does "It's a different avenue of the same street."
The original flag was repeatedly photocopied so that when each piece was
put in place it created a scale template of the original for Tim Saupitty
to work with.
Wahahrockah-Tasi said it has taken more than a year to work out the project's logistics, find the materials and commission Tim Saupitty
for the job.
And some of the writing on the original flag is illegible due to its age and condition, Tim Saupitty
Through the month of February, Tim Saupitty
worked on the project with the zeal of a one who knows the importance of the job at hand.
Each careful stroke of acrylic paint on nylon was brushed with a focus toward a bigger picture, he said.
"Artists are historians a little," Tim Saupitty
"It's priceless, man," Tim Saupitty