Cutline: Doctor Pickens Museum, Inc. display of art works on NOC Tonkawa campus. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC President, Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of Pickens Museum, and Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Development and Community Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College)
This past fall, Northern Oklahoma College entered into an initial two-year agreement for selected displays of art works with Doctor Pickens Museum, Inc. on the Tonkawa campus. This collection of art, primarily native art, will be on loan and will be installed over four phases.
The Pickens Museum, located in Ponca City, includes Native American Art, turquoise jewelry, art, Indian jewelry, painting and more. Hugh Pickens, Executive Director of the Pickens Museum, stated, “This is an exciting opportunity for us to share our art and culture with the Northern Oklahoma College community.” Pickens is presently in the process of planning the construction of an Art Museum in Northern Oklahoma.
Installation of Phase One of the project is now completed at the library entrance of the Vineyard Library Administration Building. The large center painting is entitled “Fool’s Crow” by artist C. J. Wells. Oil on canvas painting depicting Native American in traditional dress. Wells is a Santa Fe artist and poet of Native American and Hispanic American descent. Her paintings often reflect her Spanish and American Indian heritage. Her portraits of American Indian warriors and children often depict her subjects with glowing “yellow eyes” signifying traditional respect for the “holiness of the Earth and animals.” As TAOS Magazine states, “Well’s paintings present a fascinating contrast between the solemn faces of her subjects and the lush color and detail that surround them. Her images have an abstract, timeless quality. The warriors are set against dark backgrounds or cloudy skies, and their yellow eyes seem to gaze out beyond the viewer. They appear to be listening to an inner voice or contemplating the past. Each one is an elegant, aristocratic presence surrounded by mystery and drama.”
The painting on the left is entitled “Brother of the Land” and the painting on the right is entitled “Brother of the Moon”, both by artist K. Henderson. Both oil on canvas paintings depicting Native American in traditional dress. Like much of Henderson’s art, her American Indian-inspired paintings reflect the influence of growing up in Oklahoma with part-Cherokee ancestry and a lifelong, intimate connection to material relics from earlier eras. Born and raised in Oklahoma, K. Henderson now calls rural New Mexico home. Both locations have provided her with inspiration for her contemporary western themed paintings. Her work has been in seven solo museum and gallery shows and numerous group exhibitions including Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian, Salon International, Western Spirit Art Show & Sale, Cowgirl Up! Show and Sale, C.M. Russell Museum Benefit Auction, Pastel Society of the Southwest, Pastel Society of America, Mt. Oyster Club, American Academy of Equine Art, Museum of the Cherokee, the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, The Bosque Conservatory, Oil Painters of America National and Regional, and National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society and so on.
Also displayed is a bronze bust, entitle “Apache Warrior” by sculptor Malvina Hoffman. Though Hoffman was also a talented singer and sketch artist, she decided to become a sculptor after receiving praise from Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, for a clay portrait she had created of her father. As a teenager, she studied sculpture with Borglum and at the Women’s School of Applied Design and the Art Students League. After five years of travel and work, Hoffman had created 104 sculptures—27 life-size, 27 busts, and 50 heads—for the Hall of Man.
“We are so happy to partner with Hugh Pickens and the Doctor Pickens Museum,” said NOC President Cheryl Evans. “This collection of art will add to the cultural enhancement of the Library and Cultural Engagement Center on the NOC Tonkawa campus. We are grateful for friends such as the Pickens who have chosen to share their gifts with us.”
Phase two of the art work display is now underway at the entrance of the Cultural Engagement Center in the Library.