This week the gallery was visited by four amazing young emerging artists. They came to Pawhuska to plein air paint, visit the gallery and go to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. Through our conversation I was able to see some of their art. Impressed by the talent and quality of work doesn't even start to describe it.
After some discussion, the gallery will be representing these young artists in the future, two painters and one sculptor, as well as helping advance the career of the mural artist among them.
I'm always taken aback by the quality of art I see in Oklahoma. It can be difficult for an emerging artist to jump start their career, with no resume of shows, galleries or achievements. I appreciate when someone points a talented person my direction so we can assist them in their career in the arts. They wil beginning showing and their art careers in the Tallgrass, in Pawhuska. What an honor for me, the gallery and the town.
I can't stress enough the importance of supporting and developing young artists for the future of all the arts. Dance Maker Academy, the Osage National Musuem, Tallgrass Art School and Gallery are dedicated to helping young people discover their talents, then develop them to their fullest potential.
Support the arts, support artists and support galleries/organizations that help make this all possible.
The great thing about having your own blog, is occasionally I can use it as a personal 'soapbox'. Yesterday I read an article published a few years ago describing Pawhuska as a 'ghost town'. I had to read it twice. After some thought, I disagree strongly. Pawhuska is not a 'ghost town', it's more like the mythological phoenix that rises from it's own ashes a reborn bird. The jewel of the Tallgrass, Seat of the Osage Nation and home to the Osage Ballet and Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is not a dead town, it's a vibrant community poised for a rebirth, a new life, a new beginning.
The artisitc and cultural heritage that is part of the very fabric and life of this community, and all the Osage, is a rich gift. A gift that many people want to see and share with us. The residents of Pawhuska are far from ghosts. They are kind, sincere and welcoming to tourists and visitors to our area. The Osage and Tallgrass is not a cemetery for a dead place. It's alive with dance, art, wildlife, Native American and Cowboy Culture.
Our future lies in relishing the past, but not living in it. People from across the United States and indeed the world visit Pawhuska, are inspired, then plan to return. The future of this 'Phoenix' of the Tallgrass lies in the arts and culture that exist here and no place else. Currently there is a 'rebirth' of interest in making Pawhuska a cultural and artistic destination to rival Taos, Red River and Fredricksburg. Several groups, entities and organizations have joined together to pursue this goal. Arts and Preservation in the Osage has become the leader in this effort. With new bylaws, a new board and a clear direction to increase and encourage the arts, historic and cultural preservation, this group is made up of individuals from all aspects of Pawhuska and Osage County. The next meeting will be on February 8th at 5:00 at the Prairie Dog in downtown Pawhuska. I would personally like to invite anyone with an interest in building Pawhuska and the Osage into a cultural and arts destination, as well as shopping and tourism to attend. This group is working hard to move forward and become the spearhead of the 'Phoenix' as it rises from it's own ashes.
As for myself and Tallgrass Art Gallery and School, we will continue our tireless support and belief in Pawhuska, in it's bright future and it's rebirth.
You can follow Arts and Preservation in the Osage on their Facebook page. We are all Pawhuska and the Osage, we are the future and the time for the Phoenix to rise again is here. All we must do is believe, work together and tell the world what we already know, Pawhuska is alive and has a bright future.
Sometimes I wonder if we have hit our limit of great artists, then new artists approach the gallery for representation. I'm constantly impressed by the quality of work these regional artists are creating, and the excitement they have for the opportunity to show their work in Pawhuska and their state.
In the next few weeks, we will add 4 more artists working in acrylic, oil, pottery and basketry. This will bring our total number to 30.
The digital image in this blog is by Linda Guenther. Using images she captures on her travels, she manipulates them to tell a story. Printed on aluminum, the pieces take on a light and quality of their own. Linda often travels to the Tallgrass to collect her images.
Look for additions of nationally known Native American Artists this month as we continue to grow this part of our collection. It's our goal to show a balance of works that truly represent the cultures of the Osage and Tallgrass Region. And, of course, we've got a few surprises up our sleeves as well.
I personally can't express my own pride at being able to represent some of the best Western, Wildlife and Native American Artists in the region as we grow one of the best art galleries in the mid-west. These outstanding artists represent the best of the best.
Tallgrass Art Gallery in Pawhuska enters the New Year representing 23 Oklahoma and Kansas Artists who specialize in Western, Wildlife and Native American Art. I feel so lucky to represent these exceptional artists and people. Each artist brings a unique and different perspective to the gallery and a style that is only theirs. From the impressionism of Cris Sundquist to the intricate wood work of Roaming Roots, they have all worked tirelessly to produce their pieces. Regardless of media, it's the desire to create that drives them forward to produce better work.
This past year, from our inception in July to the present, Tallgrass Art Gallery has had the real joy of meeting these skilled persons and working with them to bring their lives and art to you. Each time I have a new visitor to the gallery, I'm always honored to show them the work of these regional artists, creating, working and living in the Tallgrass Area.