Press Release by: Bruce Carter, Tallgrass Art Gallery
Tallgrass Art Gallery in Pawhuska has a new artist in residence. Denise Ford will be working in gallery on a life size bronze of an Osage warrior for several weeks. The monument portrays a warrior of the Osage Nation at the time of contact. He wears a bison robe and holds an eagle wing fan. Titled ‘Greeting the Dawn’, Ms. Ford was inspired by paintings by Catlin and a trip to the Osage Nation Museum to research traditional Osage costumes and attire.
Denise is available to visit with guests to the gallery and explain the process of creating a sculpture of this size, as well as allow visitors to ‘touch’ the in process piece. Her work in featured in the north window of the gallery, allowing passersby to watch her at work and see the development of the piece while she is here. She will continue to work in the gallery until the molds are made.
Denise has been commissioned to produce works throughout Texas and Oklahoma, as well as Atlanta Georgia. Her most recent commission was the ‘James Bigheart’ bronze for the Osage Nation. The monument to James Bigheart sits on their campus in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
‘As a sculptor, I will always be a work in progress. I’ve learned the rules, and the joy that lies before me now is expanding upon them in ways I’ve yet to discover. One way I’ve found is, I’ve developed a keen ‘eye’ for listening as I work’ comments Denise.
Denise can be seen working in gallery most days they are open. Currently the gallery is open from 9 to 6 Tuesday to Sunday and by appointment. She joins our other resident artist Sharlette White. In mid-September, the gallery hopes to add yet another resident artist to rotate with Denise and Sharlette, so there is always a working artist in the gallery. Denise, Sharlette and the gallery look forward to visitors seeing, enjoying and becoming a part of the creative process.
Currently Preserving Arts in the Osage is also working on a monumental bronze of Ben ‘Son’ Johnson in Old #1 Firehouse Art Center in downtown Pawhuska. The art center is open Thursday to Saturday from 10 to 3.