The Pryor Times

Local News

May 8, 2014

Stone carvings on display at Founder’s Day

PRYOR, OK — Three generations of Stones will have displays at Locust Grove Founder's Day.

The eldest Stone, Willard, died March of 1985, though his work still receives recognition and admiration.

The website of the Willard Stone Museum tells a bit of Stone's story; “As a boy, Stone knew the harshness of the land as well as it's beauty... An accident, a dynamite cap explosion, almost destroyed his zeal for living at the age of 13. His keen interest in drawing was thwarted by the loss of portions of his right thumb and two fingers, and he withdrew from school.”

The website said it was then that Willard Stone found his passion, “modeling in clay, the things he knew.”

In college, Stone won national recognition for his work.

 “In the 1940s , oil patron and art collector Thomas Gilcrease gave him an opportunity to strive for perfection and feed his family at the same time,” according to the website. “A three-year grant as an artist in residence at the Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art made it possible. Today, the Institute owns a large collection of his work, particularly from that period.”

By 1961, Stone was able to quit his job and devote his time to his art. Later, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma adopted Stone's sculpture, “Exodus,” as the Nation's logo, according to the site.

Third generation artist Mitzi Stone is looking forward to displaying her work alongside her father and grandfather's.

“I am just proud to be carrying on the family business and to actually have a desire to carve. It is helping develop a new relationship with my dad too. He is definitely becoming an great mentor to me,” said Mitzi of father Jason. “ He had always let me dabble in the shop, but I don't think I ever showed much true interest until this past year. Now that I have developed a real passion for it, I think he is as excited as I am that the tradition carries on.”

When it comes to having her work featured alongside her grandfather's world-renowned carvings, Mitzi said she is stunned.

“As far as having my work displayed with Grandpa's, it blows my mind. I am in awe at his talent. I am simply humbled to think that some day I could be even half as talented as Grandpa was and Dad is,” said Mitzi.

Jason and Mitzi Stone are members of the Locust Grove Arts Alliance. The LGAA is having a Founder's Day Art Show May 10 from 10 a.m. To 5 p.m. In the VFW building on Broadway Street.

The art show will also include works of other area artists including Ben Shoemaker, Joan Shoemaker, Demos Glass, Bill Glass, writers Ally Carter and Amy Fogleman, musician Mica Roberts and many more.

Photography by Marea Breedlove, Sarah  Coday and Betty Perkins will be on display in addition to textile arts by Fern McFarland. Artwork from Locust Grove High School art teacher Georgia Rainbolt and some of her students as well as deconstruction art from Kelly Palmer and poetry from the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry will be on display.

Any interested citizen of Locust Grove is invited to join LGAA. They meet on the second Tuesday of every month.


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