Friday, March 30, 2012

OETA Oklahoma PBS will be airing our documentary

Production still from our documentary, Fran Hardy interviews Quintus Herron about his preserve and the Museum of the Red River founded by Quintus and his wife Mary

We just spoke with the programming director at OETA, Oklahoma Public Television this morning. They will be broadcasting our educational documentary "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: Oklahoma" across the state of Oklahoma in September 2012.  It will air on OETA and then multiple times on their other channel OKLA. They chose September to correlate with the the exhibition I am curating at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art September 15-October 28, 2012. The exhibition will include the artists we interviewed in the documentary as well as well as an installation of my work on the trees of Oklahoma. 

Production still of the Choctaw Ponies at Chahta Isuba Ranch near Antlers, OK

One of Choctaw archeologist, Dr. Ian Thompson's, beautiful Choctaw pots at the Museum of the Red River

Fran in the cypress swamp at Little River National wildlife refuge something that many would not expect to see in Oklahoma

For a glimpse of more about the people and places we visit:

And again our sincere thanks to the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art for making all of this possible. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Premiere Extraordinaire

Co-producers Bob and Fran at the Q and A afterwards

Our premiere of the "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: Oklahoma" was a huge success with the audience coming from as far away as Texas and even a curator who was in town from LA. It was also very fun to see so many of the people we interviewed at the premiere. The projection in Sarkeys Performing Arts Center at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art was excellent. Bob and I did a Q and A afterwards with a reception before and after the airing of the film. DVD copies of the documentary can be obtained through the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art for $19.95 by calling them at 405-878-5300 or by visiting this wonderful museum in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The proceeds from the sales of the DVD help to support the continuation of our project across the United States and also benefit the museum who sponsored our Oklahoma documentary and upcoming exhibit September 15- October 28, 2012.
To see a list of the people and places in Oklahoma we visited you can also go to as well as previous blogposts.

At the reception, note the cowboy hats from Chahta Isuba Ranch and Fossil River Preserve.
These are the people who are working hard to save the Choctaw ponies.

a great spread and some of you may recognize yourselves

We felt honored that some people drove all the way from Texas as well as all across the state of Oklahoma. Henry Moy, Director of the Museum of the Red River was there as well as Bill Mercer, noted anthropologist and curator. While he was at the Portland Art Museum as Curator of Native American Art, Bill wrote the stunning book "People of the River, Native Arts of the Oregon Territory".   

the theater beginning to fill up with Dane Pollei, Director and Chief Curator of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in the foreground

more shots of Bob Demboski and Fran Hardy co-producers at the Q and A afterwards
(Question and Answer)

a short youtube by the museum of a very small portion of our Q and A

The museum printed out a 24 page booklet to accompany the premiere with information about all the places we visited and people we interviewed. It is important to us to get the word out about all these worthy causes, projects and preserves. We also want the individual to be inspired to realize that they can do something in their own sphere of influence to help support art, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation and how intertwined and intricate the web that binds them together is.

For more about us:
 follow us to keep up on our documentaries and exhibits             

see my work with ancient trees and forests

People of the River is the first major publication to focus exclusively on the rich artistic traditions of the Native Americans who traditionally lived along the lower Columbia River from the mouth of the Snake River to the Pacific Ocean. In this richly illustrated volume, author Bill Mercer eloquently describes the Columbia River art style as an indigenous development that emerged over the course of countless generations and whose forms reveal a unique combination of designs, motifs, materials, and techniques. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Twisted, Tangled Forests of Cast Iron

"Crosstimbers", 46" x 56", colored pencil on acrylic ground
by Fran Hardy copyright

Washington Irving described the Crosstimbers as 'vexations of flesh and spirit' and said 'they struggled through forests of cast iron' when he had to traverse them in 1832. They once covered 30,000 square miles of Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas but are now primarily confined to two preserves. One is the Keystone Ancient Forest, founded by the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy and managed by the parks department of Sand Springs, about fifteen minutes from Tulsa. 
The Crosstimbers can also be found in the ravines of the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.
This painting that I did for my series of Oklahoma trees will be part of a group exhibition I am curating at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. It depicts the twisting gnarled oak trees of this forest of post oak and cedar. Many are 300 to 500 years old but because of the harsh windy and drought-stricken climate they have endured do not look that old or massive.  The exhibition September 15-October 28, 2012 will also contain the work of Oklahoma artists that we interviewed in our documentary "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artists's Process: Oklahoma". I will tell you more about the artists included in the exhibition in upcoming blog posts. 

Detail of "Crosstimbers" by Fran Hardy copyright
Usually creatures and spirits emerge unbidden as I draw but in this piece I intentionally added a few. I want to start studying more about how mythology has been created around trees in various cultures and to also write my own inspired by my paintings of trees. We will see what emerges from this..........

How wikipedia describes it now versus the vast forest it once was:
The term Cross Timbers is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas.[1] Made up of a mix of prairiesavanna, and woodland,[2][3] it forms part of the boundary between the more heavily forested eastern country and the almost treeless Great Plains,[2][3][4] and also marks the western habitat limit of manymammals and insects.[2]
No major metropolitan areas lie wholly within the Cross Timbers, although roughly the western half of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex does, including the cities of Fort WorthDentonArlington, and Weatherford.[3] The western suburbs of the Tulsa metropolitan area and the northeastern suburbs of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area also lie within this area.[2] The main highways that cross the region are I-35 and I-35W going north to south (although they tend to skirt the Cross Timbers' eastern fringe south of Fort Worth) and I-40 going east to west. Numerous U.S. Highways also cross the area.[2][3]

The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. In the past, tallgrass prairies covered a large portion of the American Midwest, just east of the Great Plains, and portions of the Canadian Prairies. They flourished in areas with rich loess soils and moderate rainfall of around 760 to 890 mm (30 to 35 in) per year. To the east were thefire-maintained eastern savannas. In the northeast, where fire was infrequent and periodic windthrow represented the main source of disturbance, beech-maple forests dominated. In contrast, shortgrass prairie was typical in the western Great Plains, where rainfall is less frequent and soils are less fertile.