Andy Kosorov


Arrow to the Sun

On Display

December 9, 2003 – March 31, 2004


Hallway Gallery, level 2

Andrew Kosorok’s art exhibition features nine glass windows, with two panels juxtaposed in each window. Each panel is a result of 20–50 sketches, several color studies, and 6–10 pattern drafts. Casting and painting the glass involves several firings between 1100 and 1350 degrees Fahrenheit, layering the treatments so successive layers do not destroy each other.

The story of Arrow to the Sun expresses a theme shared among most myth cycles, and buttresses a hope common to the human condition. A very long time ago, a shaft of sunlight fell up on a fair maid and she conceived and bore a son. As he grew, he tried to discover who his father was, but none would say. Finally an old arrow maker, without saying anything, bound him magically to an arrow and shot him to the sun. When he arrived, Arrow asked the Master of the Sun if he knew who Arrow’s father was. The Master told Arrow that before the answer could be found, he would have to pass through and overcome four kivas, or holy rooms, each of which would endow him with special powers. The first kiva was filled with lions, the second with bees, and the third with snakes. Arrow passed through and overcame each one, growing from each trial. The fourth kiva was filled with the storm’s lightning. This was the most powerful and most frightening kiva, but Arrow passed though it and survived. He returned to the great hall and again asked the Master of the Sun his question. Here Arrow learned that the Master was his father, and the trial of kivas endowed him with his father’s power. Arrow returned to earth and used his power to bless his people.

The Pueblo version, which is used for the window series, is echoed in stories told by people as diverse as the Navajo in the south to the Kwakiutl in the north; the Yakima in the west to the Cherokee in the east. Similarities can be seen in Aztec and Inca stories, pre–Colombian cultures, and rock art throughout the Americas. Similar stories occur in the ancient histories of Korea and the Norse, and people sharing much with Arrow appear in written accounts from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the Bhagivad Ghita.

At no time is the attempt made to identify this story as a Christ–myth, but rather images are used that identify the Christ story as another expression of the underlying themes of this ancient American myth.