PRYOR, OK —
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
John F. Kennedy
The vision of Locust Grove Arts Alliance is simple, to provide opportunities for and awareness of arts in Locust Grove.
The newly-formed group, founded by Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry founder Shaun Perkins, has one meeting under its belt.
Perkins grew up in Locust Grove, attending school there before going to college. She returned to town in 2005, drawn back by happy memories.
In 2012, she started the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry in her dad’s old machine shop. This year, she has the opportunity to be part of the OK Arts Council Leadership Arts Class.
That class, Perkins says, “involves people from across the state in growing the arts in their communities.”
With that, the idea of LGAA was born.
“My idea for forming LGAA was to find some ways to bring art, in many forms, to downtown Locust Grove, to the community, the the students, and to all ages in order to engage people in the arts and to energize and grow the arts community, which I feel will lead to strengthening the town and its assets,” said Perkins.
She said the small community does a great job offering sports activities for citizens, but that’s not enough.
“I think we can do an excellent job of offering arts activities too. Both are needed and both are important to the development of a happy, healthy, well-rounded person,” said Perkins. “The arts bring people necessary self-expression, creative thinking skills, enjoyment, and an appreciation for beauty, diversity and engagement in life.”
The group is still in the beginning stages, but has determined it will take part in the town’s Founders Day celebration May 10.
“We are working to contact anyone in Locust Grove with a desire to help promote the arts to help us get an arts activity or exhibit set up for Founder’s Day,” said Perkins. “What we hope to do is get the use of an empty downtown shop to have a LG Arts Room for artists and art students to set up and for the LGAA to be available to talk about our plans with people who come in.
“ We have many wonderful artists of all types — sculpture, painting, gourds, beading, screenprinting, etc. — in LG and want to help them shine,” said Perkins.
“Our greatest assets are the wealth of accomplished artists in the community, excellent school art teachers in Georgia Rainbolt and Pam Buckskin Glass, lifelong residents of the town who are willing to help bring the arts to the community, and a very involved and working Chamber of Commerce that has done much to bring community members together. The biggest struggle will probably be financial--funding activities and affording space for them.”
The next meeting of the LGAA is April 8, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at Locust Grove United Methodist Church. Any interested LG resident is invited to attend.