John D. Free, a native of Osage County and Pawhuska, Oklahoma, left behind a legacy of great art in this small community. During his lifetime Mr. Free produced award winning bronzes of the Western and Native American Culture he was a part of. His works have been shown throughout the United States in museums, public and private collections.
An award winning member of the National Academy of Western Artists and Cowboy Artists of America, his knowledge of the subject matter he portrayed is unsurpassed. He twice won silver medals as a NAWA member. His paintings and drawings have the same impact.
Mr. Free was instrumental in the production of a bronze casting foundry in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The foundry continues to produce his editions which have not been sold out. Run by John D. Free's sons and families, over 60 artists use the foundry to produce fine bronze castings as meticulous in detail as when Mr. Free oversaw the foundry himself.
From sculpting with melted wax and dirt in his childhood to monuments that are nationally known, Mr. Free lives on in his work and the legacy of art he left in Pawhuska and the Osage. Tallgrass Art Gallery is proud to be the sole representative of John D. Free in the United States and look forward to sharing our collection with you.
Yesterday I learned of the passing of one gallery craftsperson, Dana Sanders Talbert, Cherokee Basket Maker. Although Dana was a 'recent' addition to the artists Tallgrass Art Gallery represents, I was struck by her love for her craft, desire to learn and her desire to share her work with others, especially children.
Crafts People who carry on the traditions of their People, culture or place are important parts of the arts. Dana's passing encouraged me to consider the legacy craftspeople who carry on traditional methods leave behind. They educate others while 'conserving' the arts they practice. Often unheralded by their contemporaries, they toil to produce fine crafts because of a personal love for these items and a dersire to keep the traditions of their cultures alive.
As we enter the Holiday Season, let's remember those who practice fine crafts, produce art and keep traditions alive, not only for themselves, but for the future generations and all humankind. When one heritage craftsperson passes, it leaves a gap that can only be filled by someone who also cherishes the art and has a personal desire to produce living history. Give a gift that supports local artists, craftspeople and encourages their work in your community.
This weekend, October 20 to the 22, Historic Pawhuska, Oklahoma sponsors 'Arts Adventure in the Osage', a weekend of arts culture and history. This great adventure in The Osage kicks off on Thurs. the 20th with the 'Art Bank' reception at the First National Bank Building in downtown Pawhuska. Showing the works of artists from across the U.S. and Oklahoma, the show will be open the 21st from 10 to 8 and the 22nd from 9 to 8.
On Friday, October 21st, the fun moves to the Osage Nation Musuem for 'A Night at the Museum' featuring an outdoor showing, of course, of the movie 'A Night at the Museum'. Gates open at 7:30 and the movie starts at 8:00. Snacks and food will be available, bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy this great community event.
The 'Adventure' hits high speed on Saturday the 22nd. In downtown Pawhuska from 8:30 to 9:30, register for one of three events. 'Sidewalk Art Contest', open in three age categories with first prize for adults of $500.00, 'Finding Pawhuska' Scavenger Hunt, locate 14 historic locations from the clues and get your passport stamped there for a first prize of $500.00 and 'Plein Air Painting' competition, outdoor painting/quick draw with two prizes of $200.00 each. All events are free and sponsored by the Pawhuska Merchants Association, Preserving Arts in the Osage, Osage Nation Museum, Tallgrass Art Gallery, the Osage Nation, Citizens Bank and American Heritage Bank. Special thanks to the Osage Casinos for their generous contribution to this event.
Come to Historic Pawhuska and enjoy our history, culture and the arts. We are the 'Real West', the arts, culture and history destination on the Tallgrass Prairie.
From October 31st to November 5th, Tallgrass Art Gallery in Historic Pawhuska will salute the artists we are so proud to represent with a 'Artists Week'. We now represent 36 of some of the best wildlife, western and Native American artists and fine craftspeople in the region. We are proud of their contributions to the arts and the gallery.
As a gallery owner, I am constantly amazed at the works that are brought into the gallery, and the enthusiasm they have for Pawhuska. In the last year and a half, we have shown some of the best Wildlife, Western and Native American Art on the Tallgrass Prairie. As Pawhuska continues to move forward as the arts and culture destination on the Tallgrass Prairie, we can't wait to see what new items our artists bring us.
Please join us from October 31st to November 5th as we salute the artists of Tallgrass. Artists will be present demonstrating their work. Refreshments will be served daily and new works will be in the gallery. We look forward to sharing this experience with all our guests.
Tallgrass Art Gallery represents not only artists who work in oils, watercolors, sculpture and photography, we also represent several very talented fine craftspeople. Creating pieces in pottery, gourds, art jewelry, artisian leatherwork and basketry, they display an understanding of form, color and design.
Often fine crafts are overlooked. The artists who create them carry on traditions that reach back through time. Pottery and basketry are some of the earliest known arts, and of course leather work. These craftspeople keep these traditions alive, while adding their own unique 'stamp' to every piece they create. Each new piece is an opportunity to experiment, building on techniques learned over years of work.
We at Tallgrass Gallery are proud to represent this group of artists and delighted to be able to share their work with our guests. From basketry to found wood objects, there is always something new and exciting to experience.
Denise Ford brought her current monument into Tallgrass Art Gallery to work on it in our window. We are so excited to have her joining us for a few weeks so our guests can have the opportunity to see how a sculpture evolves from inspiration up to casting.
The piece portrays an Osage Native American wrapped in a bison robe. It has been very interesting to us to watch her work and 'communicate' with the sculpture as the concept evolves and develops. Denise says 'the piece speaks to me'.
Having the sculpture in gallery and resident artists here gives the public a chance to talk to the artist as she works. Last week two children 'helped' Denise put clay on the bison robe. They were enthralled with the process. Others were curious about her inspiration, how she works and the processes involved.
Giving the public, especially children, the opportunity to experience art is one of the joys of gallery ownership. The other one, often overlooked, is our personal chance to experience art and the artists we work with. At Tallgrass Art Gallery, we are honored to work with over 30 regional artists who share their art, lives and creativity with us on a daily basis.
We invite you to come by and 'experience' art, artists and Pawhuska, OK, the rising arts destination in the Tallgrass Region.
Photography has changed immensely since it's inception in the 1800's. Add the abilities of computers to the mix, and photographers are becoming more artist and less technician. Using images that incorporate form, color, design and scale, they now mix images, replace colors and create pieces that are individual and can be nothing but 'art'. The three 'photographs' here are all examples of the modern photographers art. From the digitally enhanced images of Gary Gibson, whose work looks more like water color than photo to the monograph quality of Jessica Jantzen, the modern photograph is a story. Linda Guenther combines images from various photographs and manipulates them to produce the image she wants.
These artists spend time not only out taking the photo, but hours of computer time to refine, re-create and define the piece. At Tallgrass Art Gallery we are proud to represent these photographers, plus Michael Bryan (see bleow). All have worked to produce pieces of exceptional quality and using the newest techniques in digital art.
It's hard believe that it's been a year since we opened in Historic Pawhuska. In a year so much
has changed. We have grown from a handful of talented artists to some of the most talented Western, Wildlife and Native American Artists in the region. Add to that some great photographers and traditional Native American crafts people...It has become a gallery full of wonderful, creative and beautiful things.
As a gallery owner, at times I think "the work can't get better". But, the artists and craftspeople I represent continue to improve their skills, and bring in others to add to our collection. I've been lucky to work with oil painters, sculptors and potters in the gallery watching them produce their work.
As we enter our second year we are adding a new dimension to the gallery with two artists in residence who will work on site. Devin Howell is a painter working on her Masters at Tulsa University. Devin has studied under some of the best contemporary artists of our time. Also Denise Rinvosky, sculptor, will be working in gallery on select days. You can check out the resident artists schedule on our Facebook page and we will be adding it to our website soon.
We continue at Tallgrass Art Gallery to work to give you some of the best art from Oklahoma Artists and Craftspeople. It is our desire now to take that further and let you experience the creation of art visually. We invite you to the gallery to watch our artists at work, talk with them and learn more about the process of creating beautiful and unique things.
In closing, thanks to all the artists and clients who have made this year possible. I look forward to working with you all in the future as Tallgrass Art Gallery becomes the Best Western, Wildlife and Native American Art Gallery on the Southern Plains.
Fire, Clay and a Love of Tradition...
Lisa Rutherford is a traditionalist carrying on the fine crafts of her ancestors. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Lisa produces some of her pottery while working as a docent at the 1710 Cherokee Village located in Talequah, Oklahoma. Traditional tools and methods are used to build her museum quality hand coiled pots. Surfaces are incised with textiles, walnuts, corn cobs, cordage or hand carved traditional wood panels, an art that was brought back to life.
Lisa doesn't limit her artisitc abilities to pottery. She also produces feather capes, beadwork and Cherokee attire. She is constantly exploring the past to bring fine arts and crafts into the present. Her work has been seen in museums across the United States and been featured in numerous shows. She has won awards for her pieces. Several of her creations are in the permanent collection of museums.
Tallgrass Art Gallery in historic Pawhuska, Oklahoma is proud to represent Lisa Rutherford and share these traditional Native American fine crafts with our guests. Lisa currently has pots in gallery as well as her turtles and will be bringing more pieces in the future.