Great State: Remote Rt 66 Gallery Attracts Shortgrass Artists

SAYRE, OKLAHOMA — Who knows why creativity often toils in solitude.

Some artists like it quiet, but Suzanne Hylton knows there are others who, like herself, were shy about revealing their own work.

“If they get their art work out from under the bed and from out of the closet then they might just be able to sell it,” she says.

A few years back Suzanne and some other western Oklahoma artists began discussions about pooling their talents.

They called themselves the River’s Edge Art Society.

“There was kind of a void here,” Hylton recalls.

They took over an abandoned hardware store in downtown Sayre.

Even they were surprised to see the walls fill up with paintings and other art from all over the short grass plains.

Suzanne says, “Until we got the group together and someone said, ‘well I know so and so and they used to paint, and this person used to play guitar’. We started thinking why don’t they do that now? That’s¬†when we decided we had to have some place that is a creative space that looks like a creative space.”

Laurie Thompson came from Mangum.

Norma Williams brought her pottery.

Betty Lamb brought Elk City skies.

Hometown girl Sara Harless now teaches high school art in west Texas now but she brought her photos to Gallery @112.

Buyers took notice.

What was once a dusty corner of downtown Sayre turned into a mini-arts district.

Hylton says, “This was the first place on Main Street that really got things rolling on this end of town.”

Suzanne herself decided to hang a few of her paintings.

They’re pretty close to Melanie Murray’s alpaca needle felting and Brenda Wyrick’s colorful, red bison painting.

They were western Oklahoma artists without a home until Gallery @112, and until the River’s Edge washed them to these dry shores.

Gallery @112 hosts regular art classes and studio space for rent.

For more information about the gallery or the artists go to http://www.sayrechamber.com/Gallery112.html