ARTesian Gallery & Studios offers summer art classes

At the ARTesian Gallery & Studios in Sulphur, community members will learn about acrylics, watercolors, dyeing, origami and calligraphy.

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation will offer an assortment of learning opportunities for both experienced and aspiring artists this July at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios, 100 W. Muskogee St.

Watercolor and acrylic painting

Mary Ruth Barnes, Chickasaw Nation 2015 Dynamic Woman of the Year, will teach a series of painting classes from 1-3 p.m. every Wednesday until July 31 at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios.

The July classes will cover watercolor. July 17 and 31 will cover acrylic. The cost to attend is $10 per class.

Barnes, of Ada, is an award-winning artist who specializes in watercolors and acrylics. She is also a published author, photographer and avid equestrian. Her work has been featured in galleries throughout the United States.

Barnes said her Chickasaw grandfather, who was a storyteller, taught her by painting pictures in her mind about love, nature, history and culture.

“I paint to revive the stories he told me and give a continuation of my culture to my children and my grandchildren,” Barnes said. “With each story he told me, I try to retell it in my images of the horse, the buffalo, the white dog, the eagle and the turtle.”

An enrollment fee of $10 per session includes instruction and materials. Pre-registration is encouraged, as class size is limited.

Calligraphy, origami, quill, ink and watercolor

Leanne Parker-West, a Muscogee (Creek) artist and teacher, has planned a month of hands-on classes at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios.

She spends the fall and spring semesters teaching junior high and high school art at Dickson Public Schools in Ardmore. Since 2012, Parker-West has also taught art during the Chickasaw Arts Academy.

For summer break, she is sharing her 23 years of art education experience with the community.

She has planned quill, ink and watercolor classes July 17 and 18. Her calligraphy classes are July 19 and 24. Parker-West’s origami classes will be July 25 and 26. All classes are from 2-4 p.m. The cost to attend is $10 per class.

Parker-West said she planned her classes as child-friendly and accessible to everyone. All skill levels are welcome.

Silk painting

Choctaw artist Patta Butcher will teach a silk painting workshop Aug. 3, covering wax resist, and an overdye class Sept. 7.

Attendees will handcraft a wearable and unique art piece by applying dyes on silk. Butcher will lead the group as they design their fabric with a fusion of contemporary concepts and traditional Native American motifs.

Butcher has been a professional artist for more than 30 years with a background in fashion design, clothing and textiles. She has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and was named the 2017 Red Earth “Honored One.”

An enrollment fee of $25 includes instruction and materials. Pre-registration is encouraged. Class size is limited.

About the ARTesian Gallery & Studios

Located in the heart of downtown Sulphur, the ARTesian Gallery & Studios is a space for creating, appreciating and sharing fine art. The 400-square-foot facility features an art gallery, classroom space, reception and retail space.

The facility was designed to assist and promote Chickasaw and other Native American artists. The gallery provides an excellent venue for artists to display and market their work. A reception area houses art shows and meet-the-artist receptions.

Currently on display at the ARTesian Gallery & Studios are the works of weavers Margaret Roach Wheeler, Beverly Callahan, Marty Andruss, Mary Wilds and Taloa Underwood. Also on display are mixed-media artists Shawn Harjo and Amy Blumel, oil painter Polly Sharp and beaded jeweler Carola Yahola.

Five separate studio spaces are also occupied by various resident artists. Currently, pottery by Joanna Underwood Blackburn, sculpture by James Blackburn, handwoven/textiles by Margaret Wheeler, quilting/textiles by Mary Wilds and silk painting/textiles by Patta Butcher. The art is created and sold out of the ARTesian’s studio spaces.

The ARTesian Gallery & Studios offers public art classes for all levels. Students can learn many different art mediums such as painting, weaving, dyeing, crafts, drawing, beading, printing, soapstone carving, moccasin making, quillwork, needle punch and embroidering with French knots taught by world renowned artists.

Nearby attractions include the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Chickasaw Visitor Center and the Chokma’si Sculpture Park, all conveniently located near the Artesian Hotel.

The ARTesian Gallery & Studios is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

To register for classes and workshops, or for more information regarding other upcoming events, call 580-622-8040.