Tulsa Show Merges Modern Art and Nature

Article excerpt

Chelley Wallack said the NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale is not for starving artists.

"At the very beginning we were trying to find artists to come here, and now we have to turn them away," said Wallack, director of NatureWorks. "It's a very sought-after art show and it has turned into a family affair."

The annual Wildlife Art Show and Sale features a wide variety of art, ranging from wildlife sculptures to landscapes and portraits. More than 50 artists from around the country and the world participate in the Tulsa event.

NatureWorks assists in the development and conservation of wildlife preserves, introduces wildlife into new habitats and provides educational tools about wildlife to adults and children. Last year the Tulsa-based nonprofit passed out $90,000 in awards to conservation projects throughout Oklahoma.

The Wildlife Art Show began more than 20 years ago and proceeds go to support wildlife conservation.

Wallack said the philosophy behind the art show is to help bring appreciation for wildlife and western art as its own genre.

"Almost all of these artists are considered wildlife artists," she said. "So it's all pictures of nature and the world out there beyond the city."

When Ken Greenwood helped create the Tulsa Wildlife Art Show, there were 11 similar shows.

Now there are only three wildlife art shows, he said.

The field of wildlife art has expanded in recent years, Greenwood said. Yet many artists find it inconvenient and too expensive to travel to shows around the country. On average it can cost artists about $2,000 to attend a show. Instead, many artists sell and interact with their customers through the Internet, Greenwood said.

Still, Greenwood said the Tulsa Wildlife Art Show continues to be a steady success every year. …