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Donna's Journal
Meeting of the Ponca City Artists, 2/22/05

     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 is, too.

     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 massive presentation.

      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 knew.

       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.

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