Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

July 2, 2013

Henson’s art takes on supernatural tones

TAHLEQUAH — An artist paints what he or she feels inside – as a musician performs and a writer puts pen to paper – because there is something to be expressed creatively.

For Kenny Henson, inspiration can be found in nature, in encounters with people and by the childhood stories of his family.

“I am inspired by stories my grandfather and my father told me when I was a child, about myths and legends as well as supernatural happenings during their time,” Henson said. “You will see a lot of unexplained things in my paintings, as well as brilliant colors that may not seem normal, but to me, that is what art is about, telling a story from the artist’s perspective.”

He’s been creating art and painting since he could hold a pencil and a brush.

“Even as a small child, I can remember looking at books with pictures of works of art from the masters, as well as our local artists, and thinking, ‘I want to paint like that someday,’” he said. “I would draw and color on every sheet of paper around our house,” he said.

His father noticed his son’s talent at an early age and bought watercolors and tablets for birthday presents.

“When I was about 4, and as I got older, I started painting with acrylic, because I like the effects I can achieve when the paint is layered and the effect of the deep brilliant colors, because, to me, it is all about colors.”

As a student in Tahlequah Public Schools, he learned a lot about artistic creativity, he said. At Tahlequah Junior High and High School he honed a lot of  his artistic skills. Junior high art teacher Mike Daniels taught him how to prepare for art show competitions.

“He knew my skills as an artist and showed me how to create works of art that the judges would key on, because I learned what you like is not always what the judges are looking for,” Henson said. “I won awards every year at the student art shows with Mr. Daniels guidance.”

His high school art teacher realized his talents and would let him paint pictures and do designs for school activities for extra credit, while the rest of the class did the scheduled art projects, he said.

“I was always known as the kid who could draw all through school,” he said.

Sports dominated his college days in Lawrence, Kan. He planned to become an art teacher, but sports became his priority at that time, so he stopped painting and played football and baseball instead.

“Finally, my career path took me to where I am today, but as I went through life, the urge to create and paint never left me,” he said. “I started a home studio where I could go design and create works of art as I was inspired.”

Henson, a computer-assisted design engineer for the Aerospace and Defense Division for 15 years, said his passion is being an artist, whether he’s painting or designing.

With a full-time job, travel is limited, so he attends four or five regional art shows and events a year including the Trail of Tears Art Show, Five Civilized Tribes Art Show, Indian Summer in Bartlesville, Red Earth, Cherokee Holiday Art Show and Arts on the Avenue.

He’s competed for about 25 years, winning many awards, but has never received “Best In Show.”

“I feel someday I will achieve this goal if I keep at it,” Henson said.

Recently, he entered a poster contest at the University of Washington in Seattle, promoting environmental health and won first place for the Southeastern region. He’s waiting to find out if he also won the overall winner designation.

“With limited creative time, my goal at this point is to paint one original painting a month,” he said. “I have been keeping up with this goal pretty well, even sometimes painting two pieces in a month, and my eventual goal is to be a full-time artist.”

Along with wife Carla, Henson lives on a small farm on the banks of Baron Fork Creek.

“I get a lot of my wildlife and nature inspiration there,” he said.

He has three children, the eldest is an engineer for IBM in Colorado, the middle child is a student at Missouri State and his youngest is a student at Northeastern State University.

“With my children all out of the home now I find I have a lot more time to paint and be creative,” Henson said.

Henson hopes youth will be inspired by the art and artists today.

“Our future generations can look back at our creativity and see our thought process and take from it to create their own masterpieces, because we will inspire them to not hold back on their creativity,” Henson said, “Because the love of art is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Stocks