Happy Thanksgiving from Tallgrass Art Gallery...take a moment to give thanks for all your blessings...
Art does feed the Soul. We surround ourselves with things that inspire us, nurture us and make us happy. Art is a part of our daily lives in so many ways. We hang paintings in our homes, choose colors that make us happy and plan vacations to places that inspire us and 'feed' our souls.
The great cathedrals and churches of the world are filled with art. Art that brings us closer to a spiritual side of our nature. From the Vatican in Rome to the small country churches there is always art. Even our cemeteries contain statues and art. Public art gives voice to our need to feel creativity and participate in the creators process.
Museums are a constant source of spiritual inspiration as the storehouses of great art. Woolaroc, the Gilcrease, the Philbrook and the Western Heritage Center are all places to enjoy works while being 'spiritually' fed. A visit to a museum is the opportunity to reflect on our shared love and history.
During this sometimes hectic time of year, take time to enjoy art, feed the spirit and reflect on the joy of inspiration.
Creativity is something it seems we are all born with. It shows itself in intangible (a good joke, scientific theory, music) and tangible (works of art, architecture, mechanics) ways.
I recently read, we are all born highly creative, until we are taught not to be. If you ask a child to sing a song, or put on a show, with no planning or coaching, they will produce a little work of simple art. Give them paper and crayons and watch the creative sparks fly. At some point, many of us seem to loose the simple joy of creating.
Creating something, be it simple or complex is one if the joys of life. Nothing else is as rewarding as taking an idea or concept from inception to finish. I would like to encourage you to find once again the joy if creation... the happiness and peace that can only be found by expressing who you are in a creative way.
When does an object move from craft to fine craft or art? It's a blurry line at times. Fine crafts are usually defined by the high level of skill required to produce them, original/innovative design and beauty. Craftsmen who produce at this level spend years perfecting their work.
Pottery, glass work, art jewelry and other media make up the large world of fine craft. In the gallery, we also include leatherwork, Native American Crafts and woodwork. These pieces reflect the artistic talents of their makers. The intricate scrolls and craftsmanship of a fine saddle is just as much a work of art as any other media.
Tallgrass Art Gallery is proud to represent several fine craftspeople who continuously strive to produce better and more beautiful works.
National Small Business Day is traditionally the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small businesses are the backbone of their communities. We have all heard how when you support a small business, your money stays local, but it actually does so much more.
Small businesses encourage economical growth and diversity in the marketplace. We give artists and craftspeople an outlet to showcase their unique items and abilities. A successful small business can be the cornerstone for a dynamic change in a depressed downtown. They encourage others and work for unified success.
This year as you make your plans to shop for the holidays, remember your local merchants who are striving to continue the long tradition of small businesses in this country. Nov. 28th support your local merchant, your community and it's future, shop local, shop small.
Today's blog is short, and to the point.
This Holiday Season I would like to encourage you to support local arts. Buy works by local artists, support galleries that help support these artists and give to local arts groups. A local ballet, the arts council or a community theater enhance all our lives. So when you are considering your shopping and giving list...don't forget regional arts and art organizations.
In Osage County, consider giving to the Osage Ballet, Arts and Preservation in the Osage or purchase local art from local businesses such as Osage Outfitters, Tallgrass Art Gallery, The Cedar Chest & Waterbird Gallery or Spurs and Arrows.
The cultural heritage of a place has a huge influence on the artists that live there and the work they produce. The artists actually help preserve the history and culture of the region in their work. A great example of this in Osage County is the work of John Free, sculptor/artist. Mr. Free called Pawhuska home and his work captures the rich culture and history of the area.
Artists are the story tellers of place and time. Their work tells the cultural history. Mr. Free's sculptures tell of the rich cowboy and Native American cultural history of Osage County. His works are on display throughout the town and his legacy is a visual reminder of the past, and a treasure of the present and future. Artists continually tell not only the past history of a place, but also it's present story. Their works are the visual history lessons of a culture.
Preserving a cultural and artistic history of a place is the responsibility of the region or town in which that history takes place. Public art, exhibits and supporting local artists make all this possible. For the Osage that includes Mr. Free and several other nationally known artists, as well as the many fine craftspeople of the Osage Nation. All contribute permanent reminders to our rich past and richer future as Pawhuska moves forward to become a leading center in the arts, not only for Oklahoma, but for the region and nation.
An artist's studio is almost an overwhelming visual experience. It's like stepping into their imagination and seeing how they create. Recently I visited Carolyn Mock's studio in Bartlesville and was truly immersed.
Carolyn is one of the most prolific artists I know. Spending hours a week in her studio, with always a new work on the easel and a new vision to put on canvas.
Studio artists 'escape' into a world of creation when they enter the 'place' they create. They spend long hours honing their craft and working on producing that 'perfect' piece, however elusive that work might be.
I get asked often "How long did it take to produce this......". The answer might seem simple, but it's not. You can't equate an hour of studio time equals 'this much painting'. It just doesn't work that way. Each piece an artist creates is built on years of trial, error and experience. How long did it take in some instances might be 30 years of time, or in Carolyn's case, even more studio time and experience.
When you purchase a piece of original art, you buy not only that piece and it's story, you own a part of that artist's life and their personal story. You are buying a lifetime of practice and experiences in the studio.
Tallgrass Art Gallery is proud to represent artists who have spent years to produce incredible pieces, and even more proud of the fact they continue to work and become more skilled at their art.
There's more to see than just bison and prairie in the Tallgrass of Osage County and Pawhuska. Although the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve north of Pawhuska is a 'must see', your weekend trip here should include much more to truly experience all this area has to offer. Pawhuska, the Cowboy and Native American Center of Osage County can keep you busy for an entire weekend of culture, education and shopping.
There are many 'must sees' in the area, and some unexpected experiences that will give you a real taste of the area. So, I've compiled a short (and you just can't include everything) list of what I think are those off the beaten path experiences.
1. For lodging in Osage County, we reccommend one of the many Bed and Breakfasts in Pawhuska, top on our list is The Mabelle at 1800 Leahy Ave. Cathy Ross proprietor knocks the concept of B&B out of the park! ph 918.914.0597
2. Red Roan Arena west of Pawhuska on Hwy 60 has barrel racing and team roping events weekly, usually with a big team roping on Saturday night. Never been to a team roping? It's a great way to experience a slice of cowboy life.
3. Fairfax, Oklahoma is a short drive from Pawhuska and offers small town atmosphere with great history. Home to Prima Ballerina Marie TallChief and another great cowboy town.
4. Osage Scenic Byway traverses the whole of Osage County. Traveling through Pawhuska, Fairfax and Hominy you can really get a view of the beauty of the Tallgrass and it's unique culture.
5. Shrine to St. Kateri at Immaculate Conception Church in Pawhuska is dedicated to the first Native American Saint and includes a garden and statue in her honor.
6. The Public Bronzes in Pawhuska. Pawhuska has a large collection of bronzes by John Free and other artists. It's public art and the historic downtown give you a bigger taste of the past. Make sure you stop at the Osage Historical Museum to really get the whole story of the area.
7. Tired of all this history and beauty? Pawhuska has unique shopping experiences ranging from fine western wear to Native American Arts and Crafts. Walk the streets that Clark Gable once did when he was a roustabout in the oil fields here, and visit the city that hosted millionaires and presidents in the 1920's. Visit one of the finest Western and Wildlife Galleries in Oklahoma, Tallgrass Art Gallery, and take home a bit of your Tallgrass Memories.
A trip to the Osage and Tallgrass is not just any road trip. It's a trip into the past and beauty of the prairie, it's culture and it's inspiring history. Come experience the Osage, and you'll be back.
This time of year we all start thinking about Christmas and the Holidays. Shopping for those perfect gifts is part of that. More than any other time it's important to think about shopping local and supporting local businesses.
Shopping local keeps your money in your community to circulate again and again. It pays for a small business owner to continue to grow in a town that needs retail growth to draw tourists. It pays city taxes and supports our local infrastructure. Of course, it also pays for a local shop keeper to care for their family, pay taxes and further support the town.
In Pawhuska, we are lucky to have several great shopping experiences that allow us to keep our money right here. From Spurs and Arrows to Osage Outfitters and Tallgrass Art Gallery, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
So as you start to contemplate that long drive to a metro area and a day of frenzied shopping, I would like to encourage you to stay home and shop in Pawhuska, Cowboy town and the heart of the Osage. Experience a small town Holiday with helpful local merchants who are also your neighbors. Go one step further and invite your friends to Pawhuska to feel the warmth of small local businesses...shop local, support your merchants and your community.