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.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery