The Oklahoma Humanities Council was the focus of a fundraising reception on Tuesday, Sept. 22 in downtown Altus. The opening of the “Keeper of the West” art exhibit included paintings, sculptures, and drawings by famous western artist Harold T. Holden. The artwork is on display at the Wigwam Gallery in downtown Altus through Dec. 1.
Artist Harold T. Holden was on hand for the opening. The exhibit, sponsored by NBC Oklahoma, is curated by Stacey Durham, NBC Oklahoma Manager of Collections.
Harold T. Holden or “H” as he is commonly referred to, is a renowned Oklahoma artist who has been portraying the American West for over forty years. His work includes life sized sculptures including the “Crossing of the Red” that is located in front of the Jackson County Courthouse on the downtown Altus square, and the “Vision Seeker” which is located on the southwest corner of the Altus City Park.
His artwork featuring horses, the western landscape, and the cowboy way of life is also portrayed in paintings, drawings, prints and even postage stamps.
Holden mingled with those attending the Tuesday art exhibit opening discussing his artwork.
Kimber Shoop, OHC board member, spoke on the various OHC programs to strengthen and help people in the opportunities to be creative in their life experiences and to learn in general. He also told of his political involvements working with former US Senator and Congressman Bob Dole along with former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. He worked with a law firm in Washington DC before returning to Oklahoma to raise his and wife, Jennifer’s three children. He acts as senior counsel by OGE Energy Corporation. He is also a 37-year member of the Screen Actors Guild being a child actor working in films and television commercials.
Ann Thompson, OHC executive director, told of the program involvements of the Altus Public Library and the Western Prairie Museum.
NBC and Ken Fergeson, NBC Chairman, have partnered with the artist in bringing public art to many locations including Oklahoma higher education institutions. Holden is the 2004 NBC Oklahoma Artist Series commissioned artist for the oil painting, “Mornin’ Mounts.”
The OHC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a state affiliate of the 50th year-old National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives and participate knowledgeably in civic life. Opportunity Grants are awarded by the group to nonprofit organizations in support of public programming in the humanities. Grants up to $1,000 may be awarded by OHC. For more information for these grant opportunities, call the OHC offices. 405-235-0280. As a member of the OHC board of directors, Ken Fergeson, chairman of NBC, hosted the event.