Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Library hosts book signing for new anthology

ADA, OKLAHOMA—Ada Public Library will host a book signing for the new anthology “Blackbirds First Flight” 4:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 30. The anthology features stories from Ada author Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones.

Bagley, Blanton, Henderson, and Schara will sign copies of the book at the signing. The book will also be on sale at that time for the special price of $10.

“‘Blackbirds First Flight’ is an anthology of stories and poetry with a dark, sensual twist,” said Pru Simmons, Many River Harbor associate editor. “The stories run the gambit from thrilling Gothic adventure to modern urban fantasy to fantastic encounters with the macabre. The poetry is uniformly excellent and tells dark stories of its own, many related to mythology.”

Simmons said the book might become an annual anthology. “We have had many inquiries about the book and its theme,” she said. “We definitely think there is an interest in dark, twisty fantasy that tells a satisfying story and follows traditional narrative arcs. We hope there will be another flight next year.”

“Gail (Henderson) and I are excited to actually meet some of the other authors,” Bagley said. “Wendy (Blanton) is flying in from Chicago, and Jean (Schara) is driving up from Texas. This is the first time we’ll all be in the same town.”

Stephen B. Bagley wrote “Tales from Bethlehem,” “Murder by Dewey Decimal,” “Murder by the Acre,” “Floozy & Other Stories,” and “EndlesS.” His works have appeared in “Creations 2014,” “Creations 2013,” “Creations 2012,” “ByLine Magazine,” “Free Star,” “Nautilus Magazine,” “OKMagazine,” and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Ada Writers.

Kent Bass enjoys writing Gothic action/adventure stories. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and from the University of Oklahoma, with a Master of Science in Accountancy. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas, where he works for the nation’s leading tax software company. “Blackbirds First Flight” is his first publication.

Wendy Blanton published three fantasy novels, “The Dragon’s Lady,” “Rogue Pawn,” and “Sword and Scabbard” under the pen name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive and served in active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues.

Gail Henderson collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce “Bare,” a book of poetry and photography. “Red Bird Woman,” a collection of her poetry, was published in 2013. Her work has appeared in “Creations 2014,” “Creations 2013,” “Creations 2012,” and “ByLine Magazine.” She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Ada Writers.

Tamara Siler Jones is a wife, mom, writer, quilter, and cat-wrangler from rural Iowa. She has three novels in print/eBook (“Ghosts in the Snow,” winner of the Compton Crook Award for best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre; “Threads of Malice”; and “Valley of the Soul”; all published by Bantam Books), one book (“SPORE”) under contract with Samhain Publishing for release next summer; one book (“Morgan’s Run”) being marketed in New York, three novels in progress, and a screenplay in first draft.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University with a Master of Science in Adult Education. She has had several book reviews published in the “Air Power Journal” and several articles published in “Vision: A Resource for Writers.”

“Blackbirds First Flight” is available from Amazon.com, Lulu.com, and other online retailers and in downtown Ada at Karen’s Art & Framing, Inc., 108 East Main.

For more information, visit Blackbirds Flights.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Book & Author Festival slated for Thursday!

ADA – Ada Writers Second Annual Fall Book and Author Festival will be Thursday, Sept. 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m. hosted by Karen’s Art and Farming, 108 East Main. The festival will feature books by local authors and “Creations 2014,” the latest anthology by Ada Writers.

“This is our chance to show our appreciation for the support we’ve received from Ada and the surrounding area,” said Stephen B. Bagley, Ada Writers president. “We will have a limited number of signed copies of ‘Creations 2014’ available.”

The anthology features short stories, poems, memoirs, and more by members of Ada Writers, including Kelley Benson, Eric Collier, Stacey Foster, Gail Henderson, Mel Hutt, Sterling Jacobs, Ken Lewis, Rick Litchfield, Don Perry, Martha Rhynes, James Sanders, Anna Tynsky, Joanne Verbridge, Tim Wilson, Tom Yarbrough, and Loretta Yin. Unsigned copies are available for purchase on Lulu, Amazon, and other online retailers.

“We will also be featuring books from our members,” Bagley said. Among the books offered will be “Floozy & Other Stories,” “Tales from Bethlehem,” “Murder by Dewey Decimal,” and “Murder by the Acre” by Stephen B. Bagley; “On Target: Devotions for Modern Life” by Kelley Benson; “Montana Sunshine” by Arlee Fairbanks; “Red Bird Woman” by Gail Henderson; “Devoted to Creating” by Jen Nipps; “The War Bride,” “Secret of the Pack Rat’s Nest,” “Jack London,” and “How to Write Scary Stories” by Martha Rhynes; and “Tree Stand Scribbles” and “Treasures of the Kingdom” by Tom Yarbrough. “The books range from mysteries to romance to biography to inspirational and more,” said Bagley.

Several members of Ada Writers will read from the various Creations anthologies, and original music will be provided by member Anna Tynsky. “We will have refreshments, of course, and plenty of good conversations about books and writing, and a few surprises,” Bagley said.

Ada Writers has been helping local authors with their writing goals for more than 25 years. The group meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month in the upstairs meeting room at the Ada Public Library at 11 a.m. Meeting times may be changed to accommodate holidays and bad weather. The meetings feature writing programs and tips aimed at beginners, professionals, and all those in between. For more information about Ada Writers, visit their website at www.adawriters.blogspot.com.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Library to host book signing for Ada Writers

ADA, OKLAHOMA – Ada Public Library will host a book signing for “Creations 2014,” the newest anthology from Ada Writers, Thursday, June 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The book will be available to purchase at the signing for $12 and is available now at Lulu.com, Amazon.com, and other online retailers. Later this month, it will be on sale at Karen’s Art & Framing, Inc., in downtown Ada.

“We’ll have most of our authors at the signing,” Ada Writers president Stephen B. Bagley said. “It will be a great time to get your anthology signed by the writers and to meet them and talk about writing.”

A limited amount of the previous anthologies will also be available at the signing, and there will be a table featuring books by group members, including three new books. “Don Perry will be there with his new young adult book ‘Little Texas on the Pecos,’” Bagley said. “Tom Yarbrough will be bringing his new inspirational book ‘Treasures of the Kingdom.’ And Gail Henderson will present her new poetry and photography book ‘Bare.’” Other authors featured will be Bagley, Kelley Benson, and Martha Rhynes.

This is the third year that Ada Writers has produced an anthology. “Each year we’ve gained new authors,” Bagley said. “This year, we feature poems, essays, short stories, memoirs, and book excerpts from 17 local and area writers. Five of the authors have never been published in our anthology before.”

Authors will read from their works at the signing, Bagley said. “And we will have cookies. We can’t have a reading without cookies. It’s one of our traditions now.”

The local and area anthology authors include: Stephen B. Bagley, Kelley Benson, Eric Collier, Stacey Foster, Gail Henderson, Mel Hutt, Sterling Jacobs, Ken Lewis, Rick Litchfield, Don Perry, Martha Rhynes, James Sanders, Anna Tynsky, Joanne Verbridge, Tim Wilson, Tom Yarbrough, and Loretta Yin.

Ada Writers meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. in an upstairs meeting room at the Ada Public Library, 124 South Rennie. New writers are always welcome. For more information about the anthology and the writing group, please visit AdaWriters.blogspot.com.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reception slated for artist Skip Thompson


DEC. 2, 2013 - JAN. 31, 2014


HOURS: 10 - 5, M-TH
10 - 2, FRI
PHONE 580.332.9225

TUESDAY, DEC. 10, 2013
4:30 - 6:30 PM

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Savings!

Take 20% off custom framing, limit one per family, 
AND, 60% off in stock framed art & prints at
 Karen's Art & Framing
108 East Main
 8 am-12 pm on Black Friday. 
We hope everyone will come in &
 take advantage of this GREAT sale!
Complimentary coffee & donuts while supplies last.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reception slated for artist Pat Gurley

You are invited to an opening reception for
Ada Artist Association November Featured Artist
Pat Gurley
at Karen's Art & Framing, 
108 E. Main, Ada
Tuesday, November 12, 4:30-6:30 p.m. 
Pat is an internationally known china painting artist. 
She is incredibly gifted and 
has several moderately priced pieces 
and beautiful Christmas ornaments. 
We hope to see you there!

Learn more the artist at Pat Gurley Studio.

Works by Pat Gurley

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reception for artist Sandy Ingram slated for Thursday

Busy Girl
ADA – Karen's Art & Framing, 108 East Main, will host a reception for Sandy Ingram, September Ada Artist Association Artist of the Month, on Thursday, September 12, 4:40-6:30 p.m. The public is invited. This artist’s amazing artwork will be on display until September 30.

"Art has always been an important part of my life as it with all artists," Sandy Ingram says. "Color inspires me, excites me, and motivates me.

"I love to paint Oklahoma subject matter. Even though I travel to other locations to paint, I think Oklahoma has some very paintable scenes. "

Learn more about the artist at sandyingram.com.


Mountain High
Having painted a few years as a pastime that turned into a passion, she decided to seek out ways to improve.  Since that time she has studied under some wonderful and notable artists that include Gay Faulkenberry, Ann Templeton, R. S. Riddick, Xiang Zhang, Timothy Tyler, Bill Garrison, Rick McClure, Dave Bates, Carolyn Anderson and Christine Verner.

She loves painting from life whether it be landscapes "en plein aire" or models or still lifes in the studio.  There have been many painting trips with friends. In the Fall of 2006, she and a group traveled to Canyon de Chelly, camped in the canyon with a Navajo guide and painted for three days.

She belongs to Outdoor Painters Society and goes to many of the paint outs. She also belongs to Oil Painters of America, Oklahoma Lady Artists and many local art guilds.  

Select National Competitions and Shows include:

- OWA-CHITO - Beaver's Bend, OK

- "Seeing Beyond Through Okla Eyes" - Hotchkiss, CO
- "Paintin' on the Porch" - The Inn at Arrowhead, Cimarron, CO.
- Texas Spirit Art Show, Graham, Texas - July 4, 2012 - August 1, 2012
-  Oklahoma Lady Artists, Simply Oklahoma Art Gallery,  Guthrie, OK. - May 1, 2012 - May 27, 2012

- Ft. Smith, AR

- American Art Splash, Graham, TX    
- Art Splash on the Square, Graham, Texas
- Old Bank Gallery National Competition, Ada, OK.

- Old Bank Gallery National Competition, Ada, OK
- Beaumont Art League National Competition, Beaumont, TX
- Red River Valley Museum National Competition, Vernon, TX

Select Special Shows:
- Art in the Park, Cushing, OK:
Third Place
- In Conjunction with the USA Gymnastics Jr. Olympic National
Championships, Cox convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
- Old Bank Gallery, Ada, OK
- Holdenville, OK Fall Show: Best of Show  
- One Woman Show, Tidal School Winery, Drumright, OK

- In conjunction with the USA Gymnastics Jr. Olympic Level 10 National Championships, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK.
- Tidal School Winery, Drumright, OK.

- In conjunction with the USA Gymnastics Jr. Olympic Level 10 National Championships, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Karen's Art & Framing hosts Ada Writers Fall Book Festival

ADA – Ada Writers Fall Book Festival will be Tuesday, Sept. 10, 4:30-6:30 p.m. hosted by Karen’s Art and Farming, 108 East Main. The festival will feature “Creations 2013: 40 Ways to Look at Love,” the newest anthology by Ada Writers, and books by local authors and by award winning children’s book author Laura Eckroat.

“We will be offering books that are mysteries, romances, biographies, inspirational, humor, and more,” said Stephen B. Bagley, Ada Writers president. “And of course, the new anthology features short stories, poems, memoirs, and more by members of Ada Writers, including Kelley Benson, Eric Collier, Lindiwe Hall, Mel Hutt, Ken Lewis, Rick Litchfield, Don Perry, Martha Rhynes, Joanne Verbridge, Tim Wilson, Gail Wood, and Tom Yarbrough.”

A small quantity of signed children’s books by Laura Wintczak Eckroat will be available at the Festival. Eckroat's book “Went Out To Get a Donut - Came Home With a Muffin” was featured in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine and won the Texas Association of Authors First Place Award for Best 7 and Under Children's Book. Her latest book, “What’s In The Corner? ... A Muffin ‘Tail,’” was released this summer. Learn more about Eckroat and her books at LauraEckroat.blogspot.com.

“We will have readings, signed books, refreshments, and good conversations about books,” said Bagley. “We invite everyone to attend.” For more information about Ada Writers, visit AdaWriters.blogspot.com.

“Creations 2013: 40 Ways to Look at Love” is dedicated to the late Arlene “Aren” Rose Howell, who was a cherished longtime member and officer of Ada Writers.

The anthology features works from the following Ada and area authors:

Stephen B. Bagley wrote “Murder by Dewey Decimal,” “Murder by the Acre,” and the forthcoming “Murder by the Mile,” all in the Measurements of Murder™ series. His other books include “Tales from Bethlehem,” “Floozy and Other Stories,” and “EndlesS.” He also wrote the full-length plays “Murder at the Witch’s Cottage” and “Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God” and co-wrote “Turnabout.” He coauthored two one-act plays published by Dramatic Publishing Company. His poetry has appeared in “Creations 2012,” ByLine Magazine, Prairie Songs, Free Star, and other journals, and his articles in Nautilus, OKMagazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, and other publications. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Kelley Benson wrote “On Target: Devotions for Modern Life.” He is a Christian and small town minister who has a passion for using everyday opportunities to help people recognize how God works in their lives. He is the husband of his beautiful wife, Jade. They are being intentional about raising their three young children to see how God should be part of everything people do. He’s been involved in the ministry since 1997. A close Christian mentor inspired Kelley to practice “vocational preaching,” simply put: to work and preach. This allows him the opportunity to be involved in the lives of other people in a personal way through secular work while demonstrating leadership in a local church. Visit his website at KelleyBenson.blogspot.com.

Eric Collier is a father of two and grandfather of six. He started writing poetry for a poetry class hosted by Continuing Education at East Central University. He lives in Ada and works as physical therapist for a local hospital. He enjoys camping, hiking, bird watching, and growing vegetables and flowers.

Lindiwe Hall is a published author of books and eBooks. She enjoys all kinds of writing. She is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle, New York. She has written autobiographical fiction, writes children’s books, and is in the process of proofing and writing an album for her mission called Rose of Sharon. Also, she is very proud of her late father, who was Ambassador to the United Nations from Swaziland for 18 years.

Mel Hutt and his wife have been married for more than sixty years and have three children, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. When his father died in 1945, he entered the Navy and served more than three years in the Pacific, including Operation Crossroads of the atomic bomb experiments at Bikini. He was then assigned to a destroyer and traveled to places like Australia, China, and Japan, with Hawaii as the stop to and from those places. He shares his memories in memoirs.

Ken Lewis has written several articles and short stories of different genres. His interests lie mostly in the paranormal and science fiction genres, but he enjoys exploring other avenues of the art. He’s a graduate of the Longridge Writer’s Group. He’s a firm believer in “Life is learning.” He currently serves as vice-president and treasurer of Ada Writers.

Rick Litchfield’s poetry appears in “A Surrender to the Moon,” “The International Who’s Who in Poetry,” “Timeless Voices,” “The Best Poems and Poets of 2007” and “Creations 2012.” He is working on “Shards of Wit and Wisdom: Stories and Stained Glass.”

Don Perry grew up outside of Crockett, Texas, and later moved to Fort Worth. After many years in the aviation field, he retired and moved to a small farm outside of Ada, Oklahoma. Don married Barbara Burleson in 1965, has two children, Melissa and James, and three grandsons. Since his retirement, he writes short stories of life and times during his youth, geared toward the young adult and teen-aged audiences. Many of his short stories show the humorous and whimsical side of the 1950s life and are often autobiographical in nature. He is currently writing a novel in the fantasy genre.

Martha Rhynes, a retired teacher, began her writing career by re-searching the lives of American authors and writing biographies and analyses of their work for inclusion in literary encyclopedias. Her book-length biographies include, “I, Too, Sing America, The Story of Langston Hughes,” “Gwendolyn Brooks, Poet from Chicago,” “Ralph Ellison: Author of Invisible Man,” “Jack London: Writer of Adventure,” and “Ray Bradbury: Teller of Tales.” Her works of fiction include numerous short stories and three novels: “Secret of the Pack Rat’s Nest,” “The War Bride,” and “Man on First.” Her non-fiction includes an eBook for young adults: “How to Write Scary Stories.” Visit her website at MarthaERhynes.blogspot.com.

Joanne Verbridge was born in Oakland, California, spending her life experiences in Northern California. Family brought her to Oklahoma where she enjoys taking time to write about those experiences. She is trying to inspire her young nieces to take an interest in story telling and writing. She currently serves as the secretary and historian for Ada Writers.

Tim Wilson is a steadfast believer in truth, justice, and the American way of life, and writes to make a difference by helping others with his hard-earned knowledge and life experiences so others may not suffer the same tragic consequences. He is currently writing a nonfiction book, “Yet to be Disclosed,” which is based on facts that explain “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the issues of modern society.”

Gail Wood has written all her life. “It is as natural to me as breathing. I love the written word, all the nuances, the connotations, the music. I am retired from the perverted world of grants, reports, and strategic plans—the bureaucratic graveyard for words. Besides writing, I have a passion for walking. I love the outdoors and all things natural. The best part of my life is now.” Her book, “Red Bird Woman,” will be released later this year by Many Rivers Harbor.

Tom Yarbrough is the author of four books, three nonfiction and one fiction. He is currently editing two works accepted by a publisher. After a long career in counseling and education, he now spends his time with full-time writing, family concerns, and hobbies like Rendezvous (an 1840 living history camp) and making bookmarks called Shepherd Staffs.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Artist of the Month Kody Wilson

You're invited to the
Ada Artist Association
Artist of the Month reception honoring
Kody Wilson
Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 4:30-6:30 pm
Karen's Art & Framing
108 East Main
Downtown Ada

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Artist of the Month

Freda de Odis Flatt is the Ada Artist Association Artist of the Month for July. Now through July, you can enjoy many of her fine paintings at Karen's Art & Framing, 108 East Main, Downtown Ada.

Peace Garden
Freda received her master's degree in Art Education from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and has studied with several outstanding artists. She taught art in public schools and private classes, but has been painting full time for the past 18 years.

Freda has received numerous "First Place" and "Best of Show" awards in juried art shows in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. She has also received the "Purchase Award" five times in the four-state competition and exhibit at the Forest Heritage Center at Beaver's Bend State Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

Freda has completed murals in three cafeterias, four large murals for the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex and one large mural for the Chickasaw Nation, which also purchased three large oil paintings for the Chickasaw Council House Museum in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Five of her paintings can be found hanging in the new Donald W. Reynolds Library in Hugo, Oklahoma. Freda's paintings hang in banks, national parks and many private collections. She has illustrated one published children's book titled, The Hunter Who Was Not So Great.

Controlled Burn On The North Rim

Freda is a member of: 
* Artists of the Arbuckles 
* National Pen Womens 
* Ada Artists Association 
* Bartlesville Art Association 
* Outdoor Painters Society 
* Oil Painters Of America 
* American Women Artists 

Rusty Gables, Oklahoma City
thegallery, Pauls Valley
Forest Heritage Center Gallery, Broken Bow
My Favorite Place, Eufaula

Freda: "I cannot remember a time when I didn't want to paint. Becoming a good painter takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, but I'm not afraid of work and I have a lot of energy, so I find it easy to pour myself into an attempt to show a bit of God's creation. I give 'HIM' credit for any success I may ever accomplish and gratitude for allowing me to be able to live the life of an artist."

A come-and-go reception for Feda De Odis will be Tuesday, July 30, 4-6 p.m. at Karen’s Art, 108 East Main. The public is invited. Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

We will be closed 
July 4th & 5th 
to celebrate Independence Day. 
We hope each of you 
has a great holiday 
and a safe holiday. 
We will reopen July 8th at 10 a.m.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Karen's Art & Framing will be closed 
Monday and Tuesday, August 19 & 20th, 
and Monday and Tuesday, August 26 & 27th. 
Have a great day! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

June Artists of the Month

Enjoy the Small Works Show
by the Ada Artists Association 
during June 
at Karen's Art & Framing 
108 East Main
Downtown Ada

Monday, May 6, 2013

May Artist of the Month: Brad Jessop

You're invited to the
Ada Artist Association
Artist of the Month reception honoring
Brad Jessop
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 4:30-6:30 pm
Karen's Art & Framing
108 East Main
Downtown Ada

F. Bradley Jessop is currently serving as Director of the school of Fine Arts and Professor of Art at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He has been associated with East Central University for 21 years after joining the faculty there in 1990. He holds a B.FA in Printmaking and a M.A. in Painting from Emporia State University, and an Ed.D. from Oklahoma State University.

He has participated in over 100 exhibitions and has won several awards including: Honorable Mention at the Mid-Four Biennial, Nelson-Atkins Gallery; The Thomas Award for Watercolor at the Five State Show, Wichita Art Museum; and an Award of Merit in the Oklahoma Painting and Drawing Biennial. He has  participated in exhibits in Chelsea (NYC) New York, Taranaki, New Zealand, and Plemet, France.

His work is based on memories and philosophical conflict and blends modem and post structural methodologies.

"My work is an amalgam of personal observations and experiences," Brad Jessop says. "Sometimes it is hard to tell what memories are real experiences and what memories are those you think are supposed to have; that culture has forced upon you. So, these works are made up of layers of images from my identity: Great Plains landscape, the years I spent as an elementary school teacher, recent readings, thoughts I have as I drive home, or extensive conversations and interactions with college students.

"Principally, the work is about the postmodern condition and the roles thrust upon us, by the media, outside forces, politicians, and others, and the images those roles create within my own perceptions, memories, and choices. Scientific instruments, aluminum, aluminum paint, and televisions serve as metaphors for cold measured cleanliness of modernism. All of these works visually reflect my ideas about the lies, limits, and unfulfilled promise of modernism while they skeptically relish the richness that is our contemporary life.

"Most of the work asks questions of the viewer, and they are titled in a nonsensical way that allows for open ended interpretation. Therefore, if the viewer makes use of the juxtaposed images and their own experience, they can create a meaning that is unique."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April Artist of the Month: Rita F. Scott.

You're invited to the 
Ada Artist Association 
Artist of the Month reception honoring 

Rita F. Scott

Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 6-8 pm 
Karen's Art & Framing, 
108 East Main, 
Downtown Ada
The public is encouraged to attend 

Rita F. Scott has been chosen as the Ada Artist Association Artist of the Month for April.

"I think I was born with a pencil in my hand," Rita says. "I always loved art and creating. Fortunately, my parents encouraged me and my brothers and sisters to follow their natural inclinations and always told us we could do anything we set our mind to do. Whether it was science, reading, mechanics of how things worked, or art, our parents did their best to provide 'supplies' to encourage us. They held learning in high esteem and encouraged us to go to school and do our best. They were especially proud of their children and the goals each of us set. All of their children either have taken college courses or have degrees."

Rita is the daughter of the late Frank and Lavene Johnson. "My parents valued teachers. They were so happy when I became a teacher. Having received my B.A and M. Ed. in education from East Central University here in Ada, I was fortunate to have a bevy of people who believed in me."

After many years of teaching at Vanoss schools, Rita medically retired in March 2007. "It was because of my students, their parents, my peers, and administration that the art department gained a successful reputation. I had students who competed in all genres of art literally all over the state. I was fortunate to see the 'kids' successfully compete locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Hard work, long hours, stress are all part of what my students and I went through. But we survived, and the memories give me great pleasure!"

"As an artist, I love the possibility of creating something out of nothing," Rita says. "A blank canvas, a clean white sheet of paper, color, and various medias motivate me. I love a challenge. I like thinking of new ways of creating from old forms. Many know me as a crafter, a Native Artist, or as the Vanoss art teacher. It's true I am all of these, but I basically see myself as a creator of artforms."

Career Highlights:
• Creative and Cultural workshop presenter - 1978 to now
• Vanoss Teacher of the Year - 1985
• Served on State committee to select State Teacher of the Year -1987
• Illustrator - Lordy Lamb [authors Brian and Christine Van Horn] - shown at NYC Trade Show - 1989
• Oklahoma Indian Educator of the Year - 1998
• Arts Power Individual - HM - one of 3 state teachers recognized - Business Circle of Art Education in Oklahoma - 2004
• Perennial Artist - [Over course of 30 years have received placings of HM, 1st, 2nd, 3rd as well as the People's Choice Award] Five Tribes Museum Competitive Artshow, Muskogee, Oklahoma
• Illustrator of Thirst [author Dania Deuchamp] - 2006
• Artwork shown in Washington, D.C. at the John F. Kennedy Center - fundraiser exhibit
• One of 20 art teachers across Oklahoma to show at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
• Selected to be part of the Education Leadership of Oklahoma
• One of first 100 mentor trainers of teachers in Oklahoma Professional Development - Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
• Inclusion of the 2012 edition of Stanford Who's Who Black Book
• 2012 Reader for Century 21 grants for Oklahoma Education Department
• Member of Pontotoc County Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, and Oklahoma Council for Indian Education.

Rita and Larry, her husband, attend Central Church of Christ in Ada.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Author of the Month Laura Eckroat

Laura Eckroat is the Author of the Month at Karen's Art & Framing, 108 East Main, downtown Ada. Her charming and whimsical children books – The Life of Bud, A Simpler Time, and Went Out For A DONUT - Came Home With A MUFFIN – are available in signed editions at Karen’s throughout the month. A reception is planned for later this year as soon as schedules permit.

The Life of Bud won 2010 Best Children's Book at the North Texas Book Festival, and Went Out For A DONUT - Came Home With A MUFFIN was featured and reviewed in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine. An Amazon review says The Life of Bud is "...beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written."

These sweet little books are perfect to read to your children or grandchildren. Visit Laura’s website HERE. When you buy one of Laura’s books, you get a code where you can download an free audio version of the books.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

You're invited!

You're invited to the 
Ada Artist Association 
Artist of the Month reception 
Kelly Pennington-Reed 
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 4-6 p.m. 
Karen's Art & Framing, 108 East Main, Ada, OK. 
Kelly's original oil paintings 
will be available for viewing during March. 
Visit Kelly's website at: Kelly Pennington-Reed

Monday, February 4, 2013

Perfect gifts!

Professionally framed cherished photographs and family mementos make perfect gifts this February! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012