The Artists in Attendance for 1992 Group Show @ the Franco-American Institute in Rennes, France

Here are some of the other artists who were selected for and traveled for the 1992 Group Exhibition @ the Franco-American Institute in Rennes, France. They are all incredible artists and it was a blast spending that time with them.

Artists_1992 Europe Tour

Left to Right:
Charles Pratt, Bert Seabourn, Ben Harjo, Cheryl Davis, Bob Thomason and Denny Haskew

Artist Bios

Ben Harjo Jr. – Shawnee/Seminole

2005 POSTER ARTIST FOR SANTA FE INDIAN MARKET! Considered one of the nation’s leading Native American artists, Benjamin Harjo, Jr. is a Seminole-Shawnee whose formal education includes two years at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Art and a BFA Degree conferred by Oklahoma State University in 1974. During a career spanning over twenty years, Harjo has garnered numerous honors and awards including the 1987 Red Earth Grand Award, the 1993 Heard Museum’s 34th Annual Featured Artist, the Featured Artist in 1992 and 1993 for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Annual Aspen Benefit and the Gold Medal Award at the 1990 American Indian Cowboy Artists Wichita Show. Additionally, Harjo was honored with a commendation by former Oklahoma Governor David Walters for his selection by Absolut Vodka to represent Oklahoma in its USA Today campaign. In 1990, he was the recipient of the Woody Crumbo Memorial Award for Excellence in Painting at Santa Fe’s Annual Indian Market, an event where Harjo has consistently received Best of Division and first place awards in various categories since 1983. One-man museum shows include the Wheelwright Museum Skylight Gallery and the Wichita Art Museum in 1991. Harjo also participated in the 1992 group show of Native American artists at the Franco-American Institute in Rennes, France. His work has been featured in numerous regional and national publications including Art of the West, Oklahoma Today, Southwest Art Magazine, American Indian Art, and Indian Market Magazine. Harjo paintings and graphics have been privately collected throughout the U.S. and abroad and featured in public collections such as the Fred E. Brown Collection at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Red Earth Center.

Charles Pratt – Cheyenne / Arapaho

This talented and prolific Cheyenne Arapaho artist, has earned over 400 awards, including one from the Indian Arts & Crafts Association for “Lifetime Achievement”. Charlie is also the only artist to be named “Artist of the Year” in two consecutive years, 2003 and 2004.

As the boy watched the river flow, his future appeared before him. He listened intently as his grandfather spoke. he watched closely as the old man’s hands worked the riverbed clay. The people and animals born from sharp eyes and a skillful touch moved the boy. His heart was drawn to the power of sculpture. The boy’s soul was filled with inspiration. To this day that inspiration pours forth like the river . . .

This is the story of Charles (Charlie) Pratt, a self-taught artist who is called a wizard and a genius by his peers. Pratt’s reputation is known throughout the world because of the great breadth of his work and the incredible depth of each individual piece. Using his Cheyenne-Arapaho heritage as a guide, Pratt breathes a unique brand of Native American poetry into his creations.

Charlie’s art is not bound by any particular medium or scale. He molds large, small and even miniature sculptures out of cast bronze, metal and stone. Striking color and texture are added with his skillful use of silver, precious stones such as turquoise, and semi-precious stones including coral and malachite. He is always anxious to add new techniques to his already extensive arsenal, which include even non-traditional methods such as acrylics, fiberglass and dichroic glass. Even though Pratt’s work is wide ranging, his distinctive style is obvious to those familiar with Indian sculpture. Many museums, state, and federal buildings are showplaces for his commissioned sculptures.

For more than forty years now, Charlie has competed in museum, fine art, and invitational shows throughout the United States. He has won over 400 awards, including top honors such as “Best in Category”, and “Best of Show”, many times. His latest acknowledgements provide new career highs: 2002 brought a “Lifetime Achievement” award from the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA), and he was chosen as “The Honored One” for the 2002 Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. In 2003 the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial named him their “Ceremonial Living Treasure.” In 2004 the IACA again named him “Artist of the Year”, an award he also received in 1985, making him the first in IACA history to receive the honor twice.

Denny Haskew – Potawatomi Citizen Nation

Denny Haskew had always worked with his hands building furniture and creating stained glass windows. After his mother brought him to a sculpture show in Loveland, Colorado he knew that he wanted to sculpt. In 1985 he moved to Loveland to take advantage of all the opportunities for sculptors in the city. Haskew apprenticed with sculptor Fritz White for a year and spent two more years doing enlargements for sculptor Kent Ullberg before he began doing his own work. Haskew’s sculptures are mostly figurative and many are made of sandstone. His large sculptures can be found all over the country. (Source: Art of the West, July/August 2003)

Denny Haskew currently resides in Loveland, Colorado where he is actively engaged in the art industry as a sculptor. In 1971 he received his degree from the University of Utah, and then served two years in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Haskew has received a lot of publicity and attention for a man who didn’t start sculpting until he was 38 years old. Before art came into his life, Haskew spent his winters teaching cross-country skiing. He spent his summers as a white water rafting guide in the Grand Canyon and on the Salmon River in Idaho. Denny has learned to love the rivers and mountains of the western states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah. During a trip to visit his parents in Loveland, he fell in love with bronze. Thus in August of 1985 began Haskew’s education in the world of bronze. He wasted no time in getting monumental sculpture experience through working with renowned sculptors including Fritz White and Kent Ullberg N.A. Since 1987, Denny has created and placed many monumental compositions; spanning the full spectrum of the figurative genre. As a member of the Potawatomi Citizen Nation, it is only natural for his artwork to follow the Native American culture. Haskew’s work conveys his innermost being. It is intensely personal and honest. His themes are recurring: spirit, healing, love, forgiveness, relationships, endurance, the sacredness of the human spirit, the strength in each of us and the power of all that is natural.

Bob Thomason

Bob Thomason (Cherokee) credits his growing up in Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory, and his Cherokee heritage as major inspirations to his desire to preserve the folklore and history of America through his paintings. From the Native American subjects, Bob continues to capture the rare qualities of this country’s rich heritage in such a way as to draw growing public acclaim.

Balancing his work between the past and the present makes Bob realize that same human spirit of another time is still alive today.

Bert Seabourn

Bert Seabourn exhibits throughout the United States and has shown his art in England, Germany, France, Russia, Taiwan, Singapore, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. His work is not only in private collections worldwide, but is in many public collections including The Vatican Museum of Religious Art, The American Embassy, London, The National Palace Museum of Taiwan, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, President Ford Library, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and The President George and Barbara Bush Collection.

“After forty plus years of making my living doing art work, I relate very well to the following words:
‘Every morning in the Great Southwest, a rabbit wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest coyote or it will be killed. Every morning a coyote wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest rabbit or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are the rabbit or the coyote. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.’ …and I do.”

Seabourn’s best-known works provide us with a dream-like glimpse into the souls of all living things, in a spiritual, impressionistic style. His paintings depict the things he loves, such as women holding babies; wise, old men; the four-leggeds as story tellers; and the birds as messengers. He shares with the viewers some special moments, possibly in a new light, like lovers walking along the bank of a rusty creek or among the persimmon trees; lovers galloping off “in the fast lane” toward a passionately red sky; or children who still remember how to talk with the animals. He paints the healers and mystics, the ones who care for our bodies and souls. Sometimes these shamans are painted with serious reverence and sometimes with Seabourn’s characteristic sense of humor…he has been known to paint the shaman carrying his “medicine” inside a martini glass, complete with olive. Whatever the subject, Seabourn’s work does provide our world with more art, love and magic!

Seabourn was making art from a very early age, and his first cartoon sale was at the age of thirteen. He continued to draw and paint at every opportunity. As a teenager, when he would hear of an art show in a city of any “reasonable” traveling distance, he would “hop a train” and be off to see the exhibit. An exhibit at the Center of the American Indian (now the Red Earth Museum at the same location), Kirkpatrick Center, in the Omniplex in Oklahoma City, featured a gathering of his works from 1947 (a watercolor of two deer) through 1982, an exhibit which spanned 35 years.

Sketches by Bert Seabourn:


Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

First European Tour: 1992 Exhibition – Renne, France

My first European tour rates as one of my favorites.
More Details to Follow!


Our exhibition was held at:
The Franco-American Institute

Left to Right

Bob Thomason (artist); Bert Seabourn (artist); Shirley Wells (previous Sapulpa (Oklahoma) Indian Territory Gallery owner and show organizer – now deceased); Cheryl Davis (front – artist, presenting gift from the State of Oklahoma); Benjamin Harjo (artist); Official, name unknown (official of the Institute or City); Charles Pratt (artist); female dancer from Oklahoma, name unknown; Mike Pasatopah, hoop dancer from Oklahoma (I need to check the spelling of his name); Denny Haskew (artist).


MORE DETAILS TO COME…. Check back in!


The Franco-American Institute in Rennes: Last Remaining Bi-national Center in France.

More about the Franco-American Institute:

The Franco-American Institute is a bi-national center founded in 1961 by the American Embassy in Paris and the City of Rennes in order to strengthen the friendship and mutual understanding between the United States and France, we continue to propose cultural exchanges between our two countries which are at the very heart of our association’s activity. Serving as representatives of the United States in Western France, we allow people of all ages and social backgrounds to discover the many facets of American culture. Art exhibits, conferences, plays, language courses, music recitals, an American library, and cultural exchanges, proposed by the Institute give Americans and the French the opportunity to meet, acquire first-hand information, and exchange views in a positive atmosphere of mutual respect. The Institute is located in two buildings in the center of Rennes. The Institute offers a broad range of cultural activities, including a reference and lending library, concerts, art exhibitions, midday and Sunday morning concerts, conferences, a student exchange program, American English courses a translation service….




The American Friends of the Franco American Institute is a tax qualified non-profit organization created in 2004 to support the work of the Franco American Institute based in the Northwest Region of France.

The Franco American Institute is the unique bi national center founded in 1961 by the US Embassy in Paris and the City of Rennes, France to promote mutual understanding and diffuse American language and culture.

As an American diplomat recently stated “there are many more areas of agreement than disagreement between the French and the Americans” and the Institute is there to promote better understanding between the two peoples. For many years, the Institute has promoted comprehension through exchanges, cultural and language courses, conferences, an American library and many other programs.


The gallery is located @ 7, quai Chateaubriand, Rennes, France


Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  


It’s good to have money, but from time to time “check to make sure you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Powerful words… from a beautiful headstone in an old, old cemetery

As you walk by…

Remember that as you are now

So once was I.

As I am now, so you shall be.

So go now…

To prepare for your place…

In eternity.

Powerful words, don’t you think?

I might change it to read:

As you walk by…

Remember that as you are now

So once was I.

As I am now, so you shall be.

So go now…quickly!

Live like there’s no tomorrow

As you prepare for ‘your place’…

In eternity.


Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Doing what is right…

In doing what we ought…

we deserve no praise, no glory…

because it is our duty.

Just do the right thing…

because it is the right thing to do. 

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Live Life…

Begin at once to live…

And count each day…

a separate life! 

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Woogee was friend to all…

He who wishes to accept & serve others…

will never be without friends.

Woogee had this incredible warm presence about him.  When he walked into a room, it didn’t matter how many people were there.  You always felt like he was there to see you.  People were drawn to him.  I remember walking through the airport with him, on our way to Florida to the Seminole Festival…  he was rather short in stature, but it was like I was walking with a giant.  All eyes would turn to him as we passed and he would make a point to speak to everyone.  He was always friendly and open to talking to anyone, no matter who they were.  I think he truly enjoyed people and was always very accepting of them.

He never seemed “old” to me.  I remember at one of the calendar signings, he came walking in with a boom box under his arm.  He walked over to his table, plopped it down, plugged it in and “cranked it up!”  He looked over at me, grinned and said, “I like Rock-n-Roll!”  He was so funny!

He told us a story one time about his truck….  he said a guy asked him, “Hey Woogee…. what would you do if someone stole your truck?”  Woogee said, “I’d run after him and yell – Hey!  Come back!  You forgot your wife!”  He had a good sense of humor.

He would always compliment you when he saw you… tell you you looked beautiful or something like that.  He used to tell Laura (Jerome Bushyhead’s wife at that time) that she looked beautiful and had “curves“…. and she said if she gained a little weight and ran into him, he would say “Hey, Laura, you’re one big curve!”  Ha!  He could say things like that and get away with it.   When Woogee passed on, Laura and I agreed that it would never be the same.  We said to each other, “Who is going to tell us we are beautiful now….

Woogee had a special spirit about him.

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Learn… Live

Learn as though you were to live always…

Live as though today is your last. 

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reach further…

Unless you try to do something

beyond what you have already mastered,

you will never grow… 

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

All that I have seen…

All that I have seen…

teaches me to trust the Creator…

for all that I have not seen…

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charles Banks Wilson’s Sketches of Woogee and Eva – In Search of the Purebloods

Charles Banks Wilson

Charles Banks Wilson is a well-known Oklahoma artist known for his contribution to the Indian art world. Growing up with a blind grandmother, Wilson learned to interpret the details of life both verbally and artistically. Wilson has sought out the last of the “pure bloods” and captured them ‘forever’ in his lithographs and paintings.

This is the sketch of Eva that Charles Banks Wilson did, as published in his book, “In Search of the Purebloods” where he says of her, “I found her Comanche face reflecting a delightful personality. Of her it is said: She sings the old song.” She “did indeed” sing the old songs! He did an incredible job capturing her personality, I think. She was delightful and I will write more later about Eva.

Of Woogee, he said: “Rainmaker” was in his trailer, near Elgin, Okla. and 14 or more dogs were in the yard. A fine artist and Indian dancer. However, it often rains when he is at a powwow – and when it does people are apt to say, Woogie, go home!” I have written previously about how Woogee would be brought in to places suffering from drought… but rain and powwows don’t always go very good together and they would sure give Woogee a hard time when he showed up at a powwow with the rain!

The thing that I think Mr. Wilson best captured about Woogee was his inner strength and powerful pride. He was small in stature, but he resonated with such strong pride. He was a true warrior. Charles Banks Wilson portrays this well in his sketch of Woogee, perhaps more so than any other portrait I have ever seen of him.




I had the great pleasure of meeting Charles Banks Wilson at the QuaPaw Powwow one beautiful summer night. He was very gracious to me. He was accompanied by his family and a woman who is well known due to a portrait he painted of her. He is one of my favorite artists, and I have great respect for both him and his work. Mr. Wilson attended the Chicago Art Institute, a dream I had when I was young, but which “unfortunately” was never fulfilled. I was able to visit it though… for a day, with my “primitive” portfolio in hand… and with great hopes that one day “perhaps I could find a way to become an artist like those I saw that day! My journey did not include going to the great Chicago Art Institute for professional training, but “fortunately,” I did find another path... another way to achieve those dreams. Or maybe… perhaps it was the path that “chose me.”

The Quapaw Powwow is held on July 4th and it is the oldest Indian Powwow in the United States. For more than 130 years the celebration has been taking place and is well worth attending. It is one of my favorite powwows. It is at Beaver Springs State Park which is located about 3 miles from the Kansas state line.

Charles Banks Wilson – Biography

Few other artists have become so identified with their state as Oklahoma’s Charles Banks Wilson. He was a painter, printmaker, teacher, lecturer, historian, magazine and book illustrator. His work has been shown in over 200 exhibitions in this country and throughout the world. The permanent collections of major museums and galleries that contain his paintings and prints of Oklahoma life are some of the most renown in the world. These include New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Washington’s Library of Congress, The Corcoran Gallery, Oklahoma State Capital, and the Smithsonian.

When Charles Banks Wilson was born in 1918, his father was overseas fighting in World War I and his mother was visiting her parents in Arkansas. Despite the events surrounding his birth, Wilson grew up in Miami, Oklahoma, and today considers himself an Oklahoma native. Wilson’s thirst for art was reflected at an early age when he began drawing on virtually any flat and/or empty space including on the bottom of drawers, backs of pictures, and even under tables. In grade school, Wilson appeared in nine school plays and expressed his desire to be an actor. This notion changed however, under the influence of his father Charles B. Wilson – a professional trombone player. In the fifth grade Wilson began playing the trumpet, a hobby he would continue throughout high school. At this point in his education, Wilson took up drawing again. He started decorating various notebooks and blackboards in an attempt to improve his grades. His strategy proved successful, as after graduation Wilson was able to enroll at the Art Institute of Chicago. At the Art Institute, Wilson began a project whereupon he sketched portraits of numerous members of Oklahoma Indian tribes – a project that would soon become a lifelong artistic journey. While in Chicago, Wilson was also given an award from the Chicago Society of Lithographers and Etchers, and his work was added to the Art Institute collection as well.

In 1941, Wilson completed his education at the Art Institute. Afterwards during his return to Oklahoma, he attended a stomp dance fire at a Quapaw pow wow. Here he met Quapaw Indian Princess, Edna McKibben, the very woman Wilson would later marry the following year. Next, Wilson was called to New York City with a commission from the Associated American Artists. Here he illustrated his first book, The Hill, exhibited a portrait of his wife in a National Academy show, and had his “Freedom’s Warrior” lithograph shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During the late 1940s, Wilson was kept busy with three one-man shows which took place at the Oklahoma City Art Center, the Amarillo Tri State Fair, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Wilson also continued illustrating; working on over five books including Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and completing a series of Will Rogers national calendars. Perhaps one of his greatest achievements came when the United States Senate selected four of Wilson’s paintings to be shown in 20 world capitals.

Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Legislature, Wilson completed life-size portraits of Will Rogers, Sequoyah, and Senator Robert S. Kerr in 1963 for the state capitol rotunda. These portraits were so successful that they led to a second commission in 1966 for a similar style portrait of Indian athlete, Jim Thorpe. The portrait was unveiled one year later by Elmer Manatwa, Chief of the Sac and Fox Indians, and celebrated with a large Indian pow wow on capitol grounds. Merely three years after, Wilson was commissioned yet again by the Oklahoma Legislature to complete four major murals depicting Oklahoma history for the state capitol – thus cementing his legacy as an Oklahoma Art treasure. Wilson has since been awarded with the Governor’s Art Award and inclusion into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 12:28 am  Comments (2)