Tonight is my art group
meeting and for some reason I'm transported back into soft days at Paris,
France when Toulouse Loutrec and his friends had their shows across the
street in the outdoors from where the established artists who were showing
their work. There is the same feeling that we, the workers of art, are
tilting our heads back, looking askance at the old order here while we wave
them away with a brush off of our hand. Essentially this is just the way it
We of our group are
spirited into the great world of hard-working artists who bring such great
emotional impact to the world around them. We meet once every two weeks at
The Arts Place on Main Street of Ponca City, Oklahoma. John McNeese is the
owner of this small gallery. So far, the shows I have seen are so varied
one cannot lump them together.
A strong man, who must
have been a farmer, showed his work. It was great pieces of steel welded
together from what had once been farm equipment. Such metal now that was
rusted and melancholy in its disuse was once again serving. Here and now it
was something new, thought provoking and strangely lovable even through its
Another time Maxine
Warren exhibited her artwork. This was under large, glass framed pieces.
An Alice and Wonderland theme greatly appealed to me. Somehow I felt a close
connection with the artist, our age, and the subject matter. It is true,
sometimes it feels rather like Alice in Wonderland as we traipse through
these days and times which are rich with the sometimes unknown world of
technology. Certainly at any moment we could slide down a hole and go back
to the times of our childhood when a radio was the greatest technology we
The last exhibit was
that of 48 or 50 wall hangings. The size of these were approximately two
feet by three feet. Actually, quite small. These intricately, hand quilted
little pieces were to tell about the women of the Bible. They are of such a
strength and beauty there is no way one person can describe them. The colors
of some are brilliant and Eastern. Others are delicate, pastels. Some are
almost abstract in depiction but still powerful. I just couldn't get enough
looking at the needlework, alone.
Everyone always shows
what they are working on at the time. Bret Carter showed his beautiful,
detailed ink drawings of older buildings around Ponca City. I next showed
what I had with me. That bit of frivolity seemed to set the evening for one
outburst of laughter for all through our meeting. We had the greatest time.
My silly artwork deals
with me remembering the sayings of my Scot-Irish grandmother: “Old Dog Tray
wuz a good old Dog, It wuz his friends that got him kilt.” At the top of
the calligraphy I had a sketch of a scraggly little dog with a halo.
Another was a saying
Gramma had something comparable to “Here's your sign, (that says, “stupid).
It was: “Guess how many 'possums I got in this here sack and I'll give you
both of 'em.”
This one: “They'll put
yeew in the moon if yeew work on Sunday,” puzzled everyone as much as it
did me for so many years. I have to admit that not until I studied the Celts
did I realize they believed they went to the moon when they died. In other
words, “The Christians will kill you if you work on Sunday.” OH MY! And
with this we were practically rolling on the floor with laughter. Especially
one lady there who had read the works on the Monks in Latin while she
studied history in Germany.
On Chilocco: Bret
Carter has just returned from the meeting with the five tribes owning
Chilocco today, February 23, 2005. HE was very elated with how well
everything went along. For definitely sure is the meeting on March 10, Four
o'clock, Main street, Newkirk for the Chilocco tour. Be there if you can. I
think we will have a good turn out. For those who have been shut out of
Chilocco for all the years (100) it is certainly a good time to get an idea
of how the school functioned.