For the last two Mondays, I have been so lucky to have the honor to hang art at the Osage Nation Tribal Museum and assist Hallie and Callie in preparing for the museums opening 5/20/16 at 4:30. The team at the museum has done an outstanding job with their resources to create a museum that is modern, educational and tells the story of the Great Osage Nation. Also in the past week Preserving the Arts in the Osage has started their huge project of sculpting, making molds and completing the Ben Johnson Memorial in Historic Pawhuska. I've been so lucky to be involved in 'The Ben Johnson Project' as it raises monies to help finish the monument by John D. Free.
Why is this all important? It's surely not about me telling you my volunteer schedule. I'm trying to stress the importance each individual can make when they choose to be involved in the arts, their community and it's organizations. The Arts, to a great extent, depend on the generosity financially and 'time' of people like you and me who support them in our communities. Many times this 'in kind' donation of time is as important if not more so as financial contributions.
Why are the arts important to the communities they serve? Museums are storehouses of our past and their arts. Art Associations encourage local arts and attract artists to a region or place, pushing economical development. Small art associations give citizens in small towns and rural areas to experience art and expose their children. Children exposed to the arts and volunteering grow up to be involved in the arts, and guess what? volunteer! Children exposed to the arts do better in math, science and other core subjects.
I'd encourage you to become involved in local organizations in your area, if not the arts, historical societies, museums, parks departments and humane societies. There is a niche for every type of volunteer. Sometimes your hour of service can actually be more beneficial than money (although no non-profit turns down helpful contributions).
So in closing, maybe ask, 'What am I doing to improve my community? Could I give an hour or two a week or month to further my community and it's future/growth'. If the answer is yes, try these great organizations:
Preserving Arts in the Osage www.artsintheosage.org
Osage Nation Museum https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/museum
Osage County Historical Society https://www.facebook.com/The-Osage-County-Historical-Society-Museum-111809765522764/
Need more ideas, I'm sure your local chamber can help out!
Volunteer, it's good for you, it's good for the organization you volunteer with and it's good for youer community.
"WE are Pawhuska'.....
This weekend Burneta Venosdel's sculpture workshop will travel to Woolaroc to sculpt our new National Mammal, American Bison. Students from the Oklahoma Sculpture Society will join Burneta for a weekend of sculpting and ranch life at Liberty Ranch, N.E. of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Students will have the opportunity to sculpt on the ranch, at Woolaroc and enjoy the Western Culture of the Osage.
If you don't have weekend plans, this is a great weekend to visit Woolaroc and watch the sculptors at work. They are an accomplished group honing their art skills. They will be working by the concession stand, weather permitting or in the rotunda in case of inclement weather.
Still want more Bison???? Extend your trip into the Osage and visit Tallgrass Prairie Preserve North of Pawhuska. Is more art on the menu? Visit our gallery in Historic Pawhuska, specializing in Western, Wildlife and Native American Art. We'd love to be your guides through the rich history and nature of 'The Osage', the Real Gateway to the West.
Brian Tharp, originally from Arkansas City, Kansas grew up around ranching, feedlots, rodeo and American Quarter Horses. He discovered art at 6 years of age when his speech therapist let him finger paint one day. Art became his favorite pastime. As a child, he got lots of satisfaction from showing his art at the local level.
At 14, he became employed riding cutting horses for a nearby trainer/breeder. Sixteen hours days, 6 to 7 days a week left little time to dabble in the arts. His art took a “Back Burner” to adulthood after that. He worked feedlots and multiple ranches just “riding for the brand” to make a living. Periodically, he would get a “whim to do a piece”, usually in charcoal and pencil. He would give these pieces to family members, friends or as gifts.
In 2001, his path crossed again, (after 16 years), with his future wife Dr. Jan Johnston Tharp. They married and now make their home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma where they own Johnston Veterinary Clinic, raise Quarter Horses, and run a small commercial beef operation. She says it took her 11 years to convince him that he should renew his pursuits in art. He currently works in charcoal, pencil and airbrush.
Brian lost his hearing at 3 months of age, but does not see his deafness as a handicap. Instead, he looks at it as an advantage. It enhances his other senses of sight, smell, and touch. He says “when people look at my art, I want them to see, smell, and feel it the same way I do in my mind.”
Tallgrass Art Gallery is proud to represent this extraordinary artist.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery