Yeesh. Finally, an update. I'm "busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest," as Dad would say. Momentum is rolling, and, dammit, I will create a legacy for Dad. The big news is that the cataloguing process for the paintings is complete! (The pastels, charcoals, sketchbooks and sculptures are another story...) oh damn.
Without the help of Julie & Farrel Droke, Mark & Becky Wilson, Cathy & Ron Crabtree, Susan & Keith Frank, JJ Bradford, Brent Swift, Terri Jordan and Skip Hill, this wouldn't have happened until 2016.
Cataloguing artwork is a tedious process. Measuring each piece, describing the medium, image, condition, provenance, etc., taking photos, entering the information into the database...it's daunting, but I suppose it's like eating an elephant. (Or a tree, if you're a vegetarian.) But we're finished with phase 1, and that's a huge milestone.
Despite the glee of this, I woke up in the middle of the night last month in a cold sweat. "Oh sh%t. What now?!" I thought. Cataloguing was my biggest goal, and to be faced with its completion was spooky, to say the least. I didn't have a plan of how to get from cataloguing to taking Poole worldwide.
I began with creating a Facebook page, which you should absolutely check out. You'll get a "Poole a Day" in your newsfeed. Over 1500 people have already signed on, and it's just thrilling to watch people discover Dad's work.
I've also begun working with the intrepid, beautiful and "wicked smaht" Debby Williams, one of the heaviest heavy hitters in the world of Oklahoma arts. She was a dear friend of Dad's, and I've known her for over 20 years - luckily she's accustomed to the Poole idiosyncrasies!
We've got plans and schemes to bring Poole to the widest possible audience, including a huge show and sale, and stuff is really starting to roll. I'll shout it from the rooftops once we get a few more things nailed down.
Next: President of the University of Oklahoma, David L. Boren, has graciously accepted Dad's painting "Morning Meeting," and further, upon his retirement, he will donate it to the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art as part of their permanent collection.
President Boren is one of the most intelligent and forward-thinking men I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and it is our great fortune that he continues to lead.
I found several pieces of correspondence between Dad and President Boren. Dad respected him greatly for his efforts in steering our University, our state, and our nation. It's a great honor for me and our family to know that Dad's work will continue on at the University of Oklahoma.
One of these days, I swear I will create and endow The O. Gail Poole Scholarship scholarship at OU. I want artists from small towns across the world to be able to study art, in Dad's name. From Slapout, Oklahoma to Bauchi, Nigeria...somehow, some way, I will make this happen.
Finally: Please consider a couple of clicks and a couple of bucks to help fund the O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund. I am determined to keep this going, and to spread it to a statewide level. Give an opportunity to those far flung "Van Gotebo" artists to experience this wide blue world.
Anyhoo. That's the news from in the trenches, and swinging for the fences.
Thanks so very much for reading. All the best,