Inside each person resides an artist, and Pat Ghormley has always tapped into hers.
Whether it was playing with and teaching her children and now grandchildren, or making gifts and items to sell, her talents are diverse and prolific.
The creations she’s created, including a quilted wall-hanging, paper maché bowls painted with angel designs, cloth dolls she refers to as “Nana’s Ugly dollies”, stained-glass, pottery, baskets, and small wooden sculptures, adorn the home she shares with her husband, Connell.
“I create because it’s fun to make something beautiful or useful,” she said. “And I create because I have to.”
She doesn’t paint as much now, as she’s run out of wall space, but since retiring from Green Country Behavioral Health Services as a counselor, Ghormley has had more time to pursue other artistic interests.
People who have been busy all their lives want to find ways to stay busy in retirement, she said. She worked at the Help-In-Crisis shelter for a year, but art, in its many forms, continues to fascinate her.
“I enjoy art activities, especially art projects with children,” she said. “My early memories include coloring pictures and making paper dolls.”
Her family was always interested and encouraging about her “projects.” Two high school art teachers encouraged her.
“I remember Willie Miller; I had her in high school. She didn’t have a rigid agenda; she would help you. She was a creative person, and I think it inspired people to do things,” Ghormley said.
“George Calvert was a talented artist and gifted teacher. He pushed people to do their best. I took several of his classes; he could motivate children.”
Other artistic endeavors include wheel-thrown pottery, painting decorative objects and crocheting.
“I like working with fabric. I’ve made wall-hangings, banners, quilts and hand-bags out of old T-shirts,” she said. “It’s a good way to use something that would have been thrown away.”
Nothing goes to waste, and recycling motivates Ghormley to find new uses for old items.
“The bowls I’m making from newspaper are another recycling project,” she said. “These will be painted with a Christmas motif and taken to an arts and crafts show in Muskogee.
Nana’s Ugly Dollies, are a big hit with her grandchildren, or at least most of them.
“I really think they’re cute,” she said. “My grandchildren like to hold them while they watch TV or lay on the floor with them. One Christmas, the daughters and I were using up some upholstery fabric. A small grandson asked what we were doing. We told him we were making dolls and he said ‘those are the ugliest dolls I’ve ever seen.’”
Beauty inspires her.
“I love to see children get so involved in an art project, perfecting small details, and they lose all track of time,” she said.
Patient adults encourage children to learn and create.
“I grew up very interested in my dad’s shop. He was skilled with tools and was willing to show me the correct and safe way to use them,” she said. “I have turned candle sticks on a wood lathe, soldered metal and tried to weld. I’ve smashed my fingers a number of times nailing some project together. My dad was very patient.”
Ghormley grew up in Muskogee, graduated from Central High School and attended Northeastern State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and art history minor. She also completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and is a licensed professional counselor. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.
“I never taught in public school, I used the elementary education information on my own children,” she said. “Then when I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went back to school and earned my masters.”
Much of her work as a counselor has been with families in distress and foster children, she said.
“I probably use art as therapy, encouraging kids, just letting them get messy and do what they do when you give them materials,” she said. “It’s fun sharing the talents have.”
One interesting project was decorating Ukrainian eggs with friends. They sold them and gave the money to Help-In-Crisis.
Art reflects culture, and tells the story of a people. She likes looking at photographs of cave drawings.
“Maybe there’s something inside of people; they just have to paint on walls,” she said.
“Today, perhaps, we need a balance for all the high-tech, electronic gadgets surrounding us. As for my art, who knows what the next project will be? But I’ll know it when I see it.”
Inside each person resides an artist, and Pat Ghormley has always tapped into hers.
Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation awards $30K
Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation recently awarded more than $30,000 to TPS teachers for education projects.
Tibbets: Art an important cultural element
The incomparable beauty of nature inspires Dennis Tibbits to paint.
“I believe my love of the Illinois River, especially the Barren Fork, has greatly influenced the type of material I prefer doing,” said Tibbits.
His love of landscapes – “riverscapes,” as he calls them – began about the same time he started floating the river in the 1970s as a student at Northeastern State University.
Tibbits, an instructor and clinical supervisor of Speech and Language Pathology at NSU, graduated from Stilwell High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree from NSU in 1975 and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1976, both in speech-language pathology. He came full-circle when he took a teaching job at NSU in 2007, after doing clinical speech pathology for more than 30 years.
In the early ‘70s, he did his first oil paintings and three of them hang in his house today.
Senior Citizens dance makes mark in history
It was nearly 14 years ago when Charles Scott and Dorothy Crawford were sitting across the table from each other having lunch at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center, when Charles spoke up and said, “I think I’ll go see the mayor and city council and get a senior citizens dance started.”
Bright colors in for spring fashion
The occasional snowflake may still be floating down from the sky, but bright colors and textures are making local boutiques and stores look like spring has already arrived.
Bright colors, loose-weave accessories in scarves, jackets and vests and dresses are beginning to replace winter items in display windows and on the racks.
Neon and leopard prints are always on hand at Obsession Boutique, said owner Amanda Harris.
Floral and tribal prints, corals, melon and mint green and sequins for bling are beginning to brighten the store on cute sundresses, skinny jeans, leggings, and jeggings, said Harris.
- Polar Plunge raises thousands for Special Olympics More than 110 participants from local schools and organizations took part in Saturday’s Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics at Arrowhead Resort on the Illinois River. They raised a total of $15,400 for the athletes to buy uniforms and help with travel and lodging for the Oklahoma Special Olympics in May. Participating were groups from Cherokee Nation, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah Police Department, Tahlequah Public Schools, and others.
Ross shares gospel in variety of settings
Pastor Sean Ross uses a variety of classes to teach the word of God to his congregation, whether at church, a nursing home or elsewhere.
“Our church is small and precious. We enjoy singing the old hymns, as well as new praise. We are looking to grow in the Lord and in his favor,” Ross said.
Light Workers heal human energy
Light Workers are healers, but not in the traditional medical sense. They heal human energy.
Tinsley’s family an inspiration for teaching
Lessons from life on the farm are teaching tools for Greenwood’s newest Teacher of the Year.
Second-grade teacher Kym Tinsley’s family is important. In the summer, she works on Canyon Ridge Farm, owned by her parents.
“I use the experiences from the farm life in my classroom on a daily basis, through writing, reading, and math,” she said.
She has a happy, colorful and friendly classroom. She recently greeted two children at the classroom door with a smile. As she interacted with them, asking questions about a story, they searched for clues and find answers.
Tinsley rewarded each girl with a compliment, based on their answers and asked more questions. The girls searched for answers once more.
For Tinsley, children are definitely the best part of teaching,
Grass fire erupts near Welling
Members of the Tahlequah and Welling fire departments knocked down a grass fire on Saturday, Feb. 15 on Bright Star Drive. The blaze threatened buildings and blackened several acres before firefighters were able to contain it.
Works o' art
Elizabeth Price views a display of clay pots at the Spider Gallery during the Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation ”Uncorked” Wine & Cheese Tasting Fundraiser Thursday, Feb. 13.
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- Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation awards $30K