After months of anticipation through the selection process, I am happy and proud to announce that my iconic collage The Dream Sower Papillon (2005) has been unanimously approved by the Oklahoma State Arts Council Selection Committee, as the latest permanent addition to the Oklahoma State Art Collection.
I'm deeply honored that this pivotal work from my oeuvre will be showcased in the Betty Price Gallery at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Much thanks to Executive Director Amber Sharples, Visual Art Director Clint Stone and the incredible staff at the Oklahoma Arts Council for their efforts in making this acquisition possible.
For me this honor is particularly poetic because of my early relationship with long time Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Betty Price, who commissioned me to create a drawing of the Governor's Mansion when I was in high school with her son George. The support of Betty's daughter Lisa has also been instrumental at different times in my career, most recently inspiring my trip to Brazil through her Global Oklahoma Cultural Fair at Rose State College. Lisa arranged funding, through a Warhol Foundation grant, for a community created mural project which I facilitated and delivered to the Escola do Americana in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. So I want to humbly thank the Price family for their invaluable impact on my artistic life.
I've mentioned before that like a lot of "ambitious creative", I have left Oklahoma many times, looking for the bright lights of 'Anywhere But Here' and vowing to not come back. My journeys have taken me to many places around the world throughout Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia and recently Brazil.
"But my attitude now is that the place where I am, is THE place to BE. I'm enjoying being a active part of the exciting cultural energy emerging in Oklahoma. I look at the Arts landscape and see new museums and art spaces, galleries and design firms, artist collectives, hip, glossy magazines, dance companies, community theaters and most importantly, a growing audience.
"So it is a good time to be an artist here. Will I leave again? Sure, I even have plans for that. But Oklahoma has been good to me and will always be a place where I can land; will always be 'home'.
I have sown seeds in this place. After years of faith and practice, years of sowing and tending, the selection and acquisition of the "The Dream Sower, Papillon" for the Oklahoma State Art Collection feels like the completion of a cycle.
The Harvest is in the Fields.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.