Roanhorse delivers on gallery experience

By Roseanne McKee

Republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

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Addie Roanhorse at Bartlesville Art Association’s ArtNight, February 2019.

A few months before the P.W. Mercantile opened, Osage artist Addie Roanhorse purchased a two-story, 105 year-old building in downtown Pawhuska with a business partner.

Roanhorse converted the first floor into event space called “Partake,” which she used to create a youth art event in 2018. The second floor is an Airbnb called “The Little Rainsong Loft.”

Roanhorse decided to use the space to have an exhibit featuring the work of children and on the second night an art auction of work by her artist friends to raise money for teachers.

Roanhorse delivered 100 12-by-12 canvases to the elementary and high school students and said, “get these back to me in the next four weeks, and we’re going to have a gallery showing with every one of you.

“We called it the gallery experience,” Roanhorse said.

Because so many wanted to participate in the elementary school, the teachers suggested having the students write paragraphs about why they would like to participate. She received 68 paragraphs from fourth- to sixth-graders.

On the second night they held the art auction. The Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce director, who is also an auctioneer, auctioned the pieces. “It lasted 18 minutes, and we raised $1,875,” she said.

With the funds raised, Roanhorse gave Amazon gift cards to the 57 teachers at the public schools in the area.

“We don’t have art in our schools, and I think that’s a big reason why kids have anxiety. They have stresses in those paragraphs. I started crying when I read them. … you have football and then, you have basketball. But, what about the kids that don’t get that stress reliever out of that or are not very good at it. I know I was terrible. I think it’s important for our kids. Our society is producing very one-sided kids. We can’t send them out into the world and say ‘be successful’ with one-side of your brains.

“But, again, I grew up in this environment where I just, I don’t want to say I took it for granted, but I just didn’t realize. When I had a kid say, ‘well, where do you paint?’ At my studio. ‘Well, what’s a studio?’ ‘What’s this?’ ‘It’s a paint brush.’ ‘Well, where do you get this?’ They really didn’t know. So, just slowly kind of trying to spread the event where we can.

“We’re definitely doing the event again this year,” Roanhorse said with a smile.

Osage County Tourism Gains Momentum

Tourism Forum at Gilcrease Museum's Helmerich Research Center

Tourism Forum at Gilcrease Museum’s Helmerich Research Center


By: Roseanne McKee, Osage County Tourism Coordinator

The Osage County Tourism Forum was held from 10 – 2 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Gilcrease Museum’s Helmerich Research Center, where stakeholders, tourist venue representatives and tourism specialists gathered to share and learn.

There was a full house at the forum, which included lunch provided by the Osage Casinos.

It goes without saying that Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Mercantile Deli/Bakery/General Store, which opened Oct. 31, gave tourism a jumpstart in Osage County. P.W. Mercantile Events Coordinator Jourdan Foran, charged with planning special events at the Mercantile attended the forum.

Even before the opening of the Mercantile, thirty-three million impressions are made each year through Oklahoma Travel and Recreation Dept. (OTRD) marketing efforts, said Kimberly Noe-Lehenbauer, an Advertising Account Executive at OTRD.

“Tourism is an 8.6 billion dollar industry in Oklahoma. For every tax dollar spent by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Dept., there is a $7 return in tax revenue. You are impacting the state in a big, big way,” Noe-Lehenbauer said.

Susan McCalmont, President of Creative Oklahoma

Susan McCalmont, President of Creative Oklahoma

Susan McCalmont, President, Creative Oklahoma, spoke about developing creative ideas. To build tourism in the Osage a collaborative vision is needed with unselfish leadership. She commended the Pawhuska Merchant’s Association for its cooperative spirit, working on weekends to improve the business exteriors in downtown Pawhuska, develop imaginative ideas and test them!

“The best of these ideas survive,” McCalMont said. “Think big dreams, try them out and see what happens. Failure is part of the creative process.”

Charlotte Ashworth, Green Country Mktg. Dir. of Sales, Kimberly Noe-Lehebauer, Advertising Oklahoma Travel and Recreation Dept., Trisha Kerkstra, POSTOAK Lodge Mgr. and Osage County Tourism Board  President, Eddy Red Eagle, Jr., Osage Elder and OCTB member and Osage Industrial Authority Bd. member.

Charlotte Ashworth, Green Country Mktg. Dir. of Sales, Kimberly Noe-Lehebauer, Advertising Oklahoma Travel and Recreation Dept., Trisha Kerkstra, POSTOAK Lodge Mgr. and Osage County Tourism Board President, Eddy Red Eagle, Jr., Osage Elder and OCTB member and Osage Industrial Authority Bd. member.


Charlotte Ashworth, Green Country Marketing Association (GCMA) Director of Sales, described their 22 publications, each offering individual advertising or advertising in a cooperative arrangement, wherein several companies each contribute funds in order to have a presence collective presence in an ad.

Distribution Oklahoma is one of GCMA’s magazines being sent to Tour Bus Operators, Ashworth said. GCMA’s publications include a national magazine published quarterly, another featuring Wedding Ideas and the True West magazine. Ashworth said that staff at G.C. Mktg. can produce brochures, ads, maps, rack cards and banners. “Just tell me what you need and I’ll find it for you,” she said.

POSTOAK Lodge General Manager, Trisha Kerkstra, praised Green Country Marketing Association for helping to create trail maps for POSTOAK Lodge, describing their services as excellent and economical.

POSTOAK Lodge, which sits on 1,000 acres in the Osage hills, hosts retreats, conferences, weddings and reunions and special events such as their annual wine and jazz festival and a spring marathon for trail runners.

Kerkstra encouraged stakeholders to apply for grants. POSTOAK obtained a grant from the Oklahoma Wildlife Dept. to establish a monarch butterfly wait station – an enhancement to their nature trails sure to please lodge guests.

Kerkstra, who is also president of the Osage County Tourism Board, said that last year’s tourism budget, derived from the lodging tax, was about $42 ,000. Of that, one-third was used to pay staff, one-third was used for marketing and ads in publications and one-third went toward grants for Osage County events such as the Indian Taco Festival in Pawhuska. The current tourism budget is about $72,000.

Kerkstra thanked the Osage County Tourism Coordinator, Roseanne McKee, for her work with the board to develop four tour plans, which have been sent to motor coach companies in the region. McKee also updates the tourism website, http://www.visittheosage.com, with text and photos, and produces a quarterly newsletter, which is e-mailed to contacts, and is available on the website home page.

Social media updates for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are handled by Digital Generator, and the Visit the Osage Facebook page has over 10,000 followers.

Osage elder, Eddy Red Eagle, Jr., who is retired from 34 years in management at Citgo, spoke to forum guests about the fact that tourism is an economic driver in Osage County, which increases the need for highspeed broadband internet infrastructure and housing to meet the needs of incoming businesses and residents.

Gilcrease Museum Executive Director, James Pepper Henry, described the Gilcrease Museum as “Tulsa’s most valuable asset.”

The Gilcrease has a signed copy of the Declaration of Independence and the only copies of the Articles of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became the basis for the U.S. Constitution. The Gilcrease Museum has one of the top five American art and colonial art collections in the U.S., the most Charles Russell art in the world and the second largest collection of Remington art in the U.S. The writings of Bob Dylan, who just won a Nobel Prize for writing, are also at the Gilcrease.

Only a fraction of the art collection is on display due to limited gallery space, Henry said. Soon, the museum will undergo renovation and expansion to expand gallery space and add needed amenities.

Dr. Joe Conner, owner of the Fairfax Chief Newspaper, spoke about tourism efforts in Fairfax including upcoming Saturday art markets at the Tallchief Theatre in downtown Fairfax where local artists will sell their work.

Executive Director of Strategic Planning at Woolaroc, Kaci Fouts, spoke about current exhibits, the wildlife preserve, and upcoming events at Woolaroc, including their Christmas Festival of Lights, which welcomed 13,000 visitors in 2016. Other events are the Mountain Man Camp, summer day camp for kids and the Cow thieves and Outlaws Reunion celebrating its ninetieth year in 2017.

L-R: Harvey Payne from Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Dr. Joe Conner owner of Fairfax Chief, James Pepper Henry, Exec. Director of Gilcrease Museum and Kaci Fouts, Director of Strategic Planning at Woolaroc

L-R: Harvey Payne from Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Dr. Joe Conner owner of Fairfax Chief, James Pepper Henry, Exec. Director of Gilcrease Museum and Kaci Fouts, Director of Strategic Planning at Woolaroc


No Osage County Tourism forum would be complete without mentioning the Osage landscape. Harvey Payne, Community Relations Coordinator and Preserve Director Emeritus of the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, spoke about the prairie, which was once “a utopia for bison, elk and deer.”

Describing its ecology, Payne said: “The prairie has to have fire or it will die. Without fire it was a spruce and blackjack tree forest. We do the burning which mimics the seasons…Ninety percent of what bison eat is grass. Called the great American desert by early explorers, when the steel plow was discovered it became endangered. Nowhere else was there a tallgrass prairie. It was coveted by settlers and farmers. The bread basket we have today probably came from the Tallgrass Prairie.

“The Nature Conservancy began purchasing the land in 1988. Then in 1993 bison were re-introduced to the Tallgrass Prairie with funded donations,” Payne said.

The preserve, free to the public, is privately owned by the Nature Conservancy, which does accept donations. Current Tallgrass Prairie Director is Robert G. Hamilton.

Bruce Carter, Tallgrass Art Gallery and Tallgrass Tours owner. Carter is also a member of the OC Indus. Auth. Bd. and OC Tourism Bd.

Bruce Carter, Tallgrass Art Gallery and Tallgrass Tours owner. Carter is also a member of the OC Indus. Auth. Bd. and OC Tourism Bd.

Bruce Carter, owner of the Tallgrass Art Gallery in Pawhuska spoke about ways to market your business and build a service culture. He emphasized the use of social media for marketing your business. He described his new business bringing motor coach tours to the Osage and described taking a tour group to the Tallgrass Prairie for wine and hors d’oeuvres at sunset, and how this added experience resulted in happy tourists.

Osage Nation Museum Collections Manager Cali Martin spoke about the changes at the museum since the new curator Hallie Winter began in May 2016, and described an upcoming exhibit: Enduring Images, featuring photos of the Osage taken in the last century. A section of the gallery is also set aside for the work of today’s Osage artists. Another permanent exhibit called “Wahzhazhe Spirit” tells the Osage story.

Osage Nation Properties Manager, Bruce Cass, spoke about the nation’s support for tourism, and progress on an eco-park with community vegetable gardens, hydroponics and walking trails in Pawhuska.

American Plains Artists Signature Member Show Coming to Pawhuska

apawebsitephoto

The American Plains Artists (APA) Signature Member Show will be hosted by Preserving Arts in the Osage at the Ole’ #1 Firehouse Art Center in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, March 24 – May 7.

The show will open with an Invitation Only Meet and Greet event, featuring Western entertainment and barbecue on Fri., March 24, from 6 – 8 p.m. 

To make reservations for this Meet and Greet event, e-mail Bruce at bruce@tallgrassgallery.net no later than Feb. 20.  

The public is invited to attend this celebration of “Art of the Plains” featuring realistic and representational artworks in traditional media that depict the American Great Plains region — its landscape, wildlife, people, and way of life in historical or modern times. 

Works of art in the show will be provided by nationally recognized, award-winning artists who hail from across the United States.  The approximately fifty-five pieces being exhibited and for sale at this event will be by the APA Signature members, who were elected to signature status status due in part to the continual high quality of their artwork.  

For more information about the APA and Preserving Arts in the Osage please visit: www.americanplainsartists.com and www.artsintheosage.org.  

The show is open to the public March 25-May 7, 2017.

Photo from APA website.

Arts Adventure in the Osage, a 3-day celebration in downtown Pawhuska Oct. 20 – 22

Press Release By: Bruce L. Carter 

‘Arts Adventure in the Osage’ is a three day celebration of the arts, culture and history in Pawhuska, Okla. Scheduled for October 20 – 22, 2016, the event is planned to be fun for all ages. 

The ‘Adventure’ starts on Oct. 20 with a preview party for the ‘Art Bank’ art show and sale in the historic First National Bank building, 100 E. Main. The art show will continue Friday, Oct. 21 from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm. This show will feature the work of several regionally  and nationally known artists and fine craftsmen. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend the preview party. 

On Friday, October 21, the Osage Nation Museum will host ‘A Night at the Museum’. The museum will show the movie ‘A Night at the Museum’. Food vendors and popcorn will be available. The Osage Nation Museum will also be open during this fun event. Gates open at 7:30 pm and the movie starts at 8:00. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks and enjoy an outdoor movie at the oldest tribal museum in the United States. 

On Saturday the fun really picks up with events scheduled throughout the day. From sidewalk art contests for all ages to ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’, the Ben Johnson Memorial fundraising chuck wagon dinner/dance, there are plenty of activities. 

From 8:30 to 9:30 am, visitors can visit the ‘Registration Station’ for the ‘Finding Pawhuska’ scavenger hunt. Participants will be given a passport with clues to 14 historical locations in Pawhuska. The first player to finish the hunt by visiting all 14 locations and having his ‘passport’ stamped will receive the first prize of $500, second $300 and third $200. The scavenger hunt will end at 12:00. 
 
Guests may also register for a ‘Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest’ from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Registration Station. There will be three categories, age 5 to 13 (first prize $50), 14 to 17 (first prize $150.00) and Adult (17 and over first prize of $500.00). Sidewalks will be marked for each artist to work in with chalk provided. Artists will have from 9:30 to 3:00 to complete their works with the theme ‘The Real West’.  

Tallgrass Art Gallery will sponsor a plain air painting contest from 9:30 to 3:00, with registration from 8:30 to 9:30. Artists may work in any media and any genre to create their work. All artists will need to bring their own supplies for a day of plain air in historic Pawhuska. At the end of the event, works will be judged. A prize of $200 will be awarded to the best portrayal of Pawhuska and a second prize of $200 for best piece of the day. Artists may choose to sell their works that evening at ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures with 70% going to the artists and 30% going to the Ben Johnson Monument. 

Saturday ends with the ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’ chuck wagon dinner, dance and auction. Hosted by Miss Lily, the evening has an old west theme, with saloon girls, sheriffs and an art/cowboy gear auction. Tickets for this great evening in downtown Pawhuska are available for $45 each or $500 for a corporate table of 8. The ‘Ole #1 Firehouse Tent Saloon’ on Main and Kihekah will be the location for this event. Chuck wagon cooks will be cooking downtown all day to prepare the evenings meal. Guests can also view the ‘Ben Johnson Memorial Project’ located across the street to view the memorial and talk to the working sculptors. Tickets are available from the Prairie Dog and Tallgrass Art Gallery in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma, or online at http://www.artsintheosage.org.
 
Shuttles will be provided between the various event locations, the Osage Nation Museum, the Osage County Historical Society, Historic Downtown Pawhuska and the Osage Casino.  This event is sponsored by the Osage Nation Museum, Osage Casinos, Pawhuska Merchants Association and for more information on Pawhuska, visit http://www.pawhuska.org, http://www.artsintheosage.org or http://www.pawhuskachamber.com.

We welcome you to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, your regional destination for the arts, culture and history!

For more information, contact Bruce Carter via e-mail at bruce@tallgrassgallery.net or by phone at 580.304.8731.

Tallgrass Art Gallery Welcomes Two New Artists

Based on Press Release from Tallgrass Art Gallery

Great artists of the Tallgrass prairie continue to join the Tallgrass Art Gallery. Joe Don Brave and Jon Cronin will join the gallery this month.

Plan to attend the artists’ reception being held on Saturday evening, Sept. 19th at 7 p.m. This will be an opportunity to view the works of these artists and meet them!

About Joe Don Brave

“I was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1965, and named Vincent Paul Brave, after two famous artists, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gogan by my father, Franklin Brave, a successful professional artist and graphic designer.  Two weeks after I was born, my dad decided to nickname me Joe Don after the Oklahoma football legend Joe Don Looney, the name stuck and I have been Joe Don Brave ever since.

Painting by Joe Don Brave

Painting by Joe Don Brave

“I moved to Oklahoma when I was nine and lived in Osage County with my Osage people until I left for college.  I was raised in the tradition and customs of the Osages, and am still an active participant of our annual traditional ceremonial dances.

“My father was an accomplished artist, and though he passed away when I was eleven, I spent my childhood, being influenced by his skills and artwork.  I still remember visiting him as a child, in his studio and being given markers and paper to create with alongside him.

“I studied art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I learned the fundamentals of art and museum studies.

“I began a career as a Museum Technician at my tribal museum, the oldest tribal museum in the country, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.  My career continued at the National Museum of the American Indian; Smithsonian Institute in New York City.  During my 10+ years in New York City, I worked with other organizations such as Sotheby’s Auction House as an art handler, the Tibetan Museum of Art on Staten Island as Collections manager and the Native American Community House Art Gallery, as a Gallery Technician.

“Besides my professional museum career and my artwork, I have had the opportunity to work on a fishing boat off the coast of Monterey Bay, California, bar tending in New Mexico and landscaper in Colorado.  After twenty years of working around the United States, I decided to return to Osage County and pursue my artwork full time.

“My artwork revolves around my heritage, emotions and expressions that I have picked up through my travels and adventures along the road, and while listening to my elder artists tell of their stories and experiences,

“I am the son of the Osage, part of its history and a product of its many changes endured over time.  I am a citizen of the world, as such, seek to define my identity and place within these two worlds, which are but one.”

“His training in Santa Fe and the influence of his father is obvious in his outstanding pieces of art,” said gallery owner Bruce Carter.

Brave, who is Osage and Cherokee, works at the Osage Tribal Museum and resides in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Brave’s paintings and prints will be available for purchase at the Tallgrass Art Gallery.

Artist Jon Cronin Joins the Gallery

Sculpture by Jon Cronin

Sculpture by Jon Cronin


Also joining the gallery is Jon Cronin, of Dodge City Kansas who will be showing his sculptures using objects found in nature. His pieces often feature pieces of trees found, then worked to reveal their natural beauty.

About Jon Cronin

“I was blessed to be born into a simple rural home and have mentors like my grandfather and father who taught me to see the beauty and wonder in the natural things that surround us. Things that are often taken for granted and overlooked. Later in life I was influenced by an art professor who stressed that the best designs come from nature.

“After having a career in commercial design and reuniting with my brother, who is a rancher/cowboy, I started producing my current work. My brother shares his wooded wonderland with me and contributes his welding skills. This allows me to polish each piece of fallen, decaying walnut, cotton wood and hedge into an unique piece of art.”