A More Beautiful Way
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03: Art is Medicine & Sending Flowers to Greenwood with Leah Palmer from The Wild Mother Creative Studio
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03: Art is Medicine & Sending Flowers to Greenwood with Leah Palmer from The Wild Mother Creative Studio

In this soul-filling conversation, Leah and I discuss the importance of learning to be one another’s story-keepers. We talk about working with art and floral design to help a community remember and heal from the tragic Greenwood Massacre (also known as the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.) We reflect on how working with plants and created-things sustains us. And Leah shares a gracious invitation for us to partner with her and The Wild Mother to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women. 

Leah Palmer (she/her) is an 8th generation Afro-Indigenous artist and anti-racism educator located in Oklahoma City. With her two sisters, she is a founder of The Wild Mother, a floral design studio based in the Arts District of Oklahoma city, on Kickapoo, Osage, Wichita and Comanche lands, which should be returned back to these sovereign nations.  In her work as Storyteller at The Wild Mother, Leah spearheads projects that marry art and activism, while engaging with fellow artists to help them discover a unique position in a world that requires art as medicine to educate, reflect truth, and issue healing for broken communities. 

She draws inspiration from Black and Brown women and femme voices, such as bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Zora Neal Hurston, Phillis Wheatley, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and others whose wisdom and life experiences act both as guidance and a mirror.   She is grateful to stand on and continue the work of her ancestors, E.W. Perry, Peter and Martha Holloway, Gladys Perry, Flordia Palmer, C.L. Stove, Sonny Hawkeye, Marthann, James and Elnora Boykin, and so many others whose lives taught her the ways of healing forwards and backwards through storytelling, truth telling, singing, advocacy, home cooking, and communal love. 

Leah’s recent work includes a floral installation called SendFlowersToGreenwood, which paid homage to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre; she is the production manager of Juneteenth on the East (2021-present); she is a founder and educator of Lay of the Land, an antiracism workshop for creative small businesses; she is a founder and facilitator of The Conversation Workshops, an antiracism workshop that teaches how to navigate interpersonal racism; she created the main logo for the Justice for Julius campaign and remains an advocate for abolition movements.   Leah received a Bachelors of Arts in English from Oklahoma Baptist University (2013) and a Master of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University (2015).

About the Wild Mother Creative Studio:

The Wild Mother Creative Studio is a studio florist owned by Afro-Indigenous sisters, Lauren Palmer and Leah Palmer, in the heart of Arts district, Downtown, OKC. Their love and honor of culture, storytelling, and their affinity for natural elements and color theory lend themselves to “Floral Stories” produced by the sisters. It’s an added bonus that they get to work alongside their younger sister, Callie, around the studio. TWM offerings include full service wedding and event floral, curbside carryout floral for large-scale events, and holiday floral offering.

Enroll in Lay of the Land, a DEI Course for Creative Entrepreneurs

https://www.thewildmother.com/workshops

Learn More and Contribute to the Send Flowers To MMIW Campaign

https://www.thewildmother.com/sendflowersto

Follow and Learn from The Conversations Workshop

https://www.conversationworkshopsok.com

Subscribe to A More Beautiful Way on Substack

https://www.amorebeautifulway.co/

Time Stamps:

0:00 Introduction 

6:52 Who is Leah Palmer?

9:23 The Wild Mother Origin 

16:59 Sending Flowers to Greenwood 

34:16 Send Flowers To Project 

Episode Notes:


For the episode transcript, click here.

--- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bethaney-wilkinson/message

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A More Beautiful Way
Conversations on A More Beautiful Way
A More Beautiful Way is an exploration of what it takes to slow down, create sacred space, and bring healing hearts, minds & bodies to the work of social change.
Following a life-altering "dark night of the soul" experience of professional grief and burnout, podcast host Bethaney Wilkinson set out on healing journey to discover a more rooted, authentic and seasonal way to live. This podcast is an unfolding collection of conversations on the need for slow, sacred living as a healing pathway for some of the biggest challenges facing us in modern times.