Willard Stone

Willard Stone, famed wood sculptor, was from a rocky hillside farm east of Locust Grove.

GROVE - On Saturday, Oct. 15, Jana Jae and staff will host lauded artists Dwight Stone and Linda Stone Callery from noon to 4 p.m. in Jana Jae's Gallery Southwest, 10th and Main, Grove, Okla.

The public is invited to visit personally with Stone and Callery and see how they have developed their talents into careers. They will have many stories about their late father, wood sculptor Willard Stone, whose works are on display at Gilcrease and many other prominent museums. Works of Willard, Jason Stone, and Evelyn Stone Holland are also available at Gallery Southwest.

Willard and Sophie Stone had 11 children. Dwight is number 9 and the fourth son. He was privileged to grow up around art, watching his father's journey as an artist. Dwight was an avid sports player while attending Locust Grove High School. Upon graduating, he traveled the country working in construction, but continued with his art on the side. His first love was working in wood as his father did, but since then he has expanded his creative endeavors to metal sculpting and jewelry making. He currently resides in Locust Grove, Okla.

Callery is the youngest daughter and the eighth child born to Willard and Sophie Stone. Linda is married to Mike Callery and resides in Claremore. They have four sons and 10 grandchildren. Callery's artistic mediums vary. She likes to apply molding medium to canvas using cake decorating tools, and also works in fused glass, and either incorporates the fused glass in mosaics or on painted canvas. She prefers nature and wildlife as her subjects.

Callery told Betty Scott, manager of Jana Jae's Gallery Southwest, that she has always loved art and started following her dad around as soon as she was able to walk. She loved seeing him create his sketches and wood sculptures. She watched his hands as he moved his knife and chisel around a block of wood creating something beautiful. Callery always thought she would like to carve, but her father insisted that she was to be a painter.

Willard Stone, famed wood sculptor, was a man close to the soil. He lived on a rocky hillside farm east of Locust Grove, Okla. In this rural setting, surrounded by children and animals, he found his inspiration. Stone entered Bacone Indian College in 1936. Acee Blue Eagle and Woody Crumbo began guiding him along the path of an artist. They soon discovered that he already knew much of what they had to teach him, so they made a studio for him by cleaning out a storage closet. Here he began to develop his own style of sculpting.

He would search for the exact piece of wood which would portray with color, grain, and mass, the image he strove to produce. As he worked with wood, his fascination with the medium grew. In the 1940s, oil patron and art collector, Thomas Gilcrease, gave him an opportunity to strive for perfection and feed his family at the same time. A three-year grant as an artist in residence at the Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art made it possible. Today, the Institute owns a large collection of his work, principally from that period. Stone's sculptures became so popular with collectors and he had such a backlog of commissioned pieces, that he found it difficult to retain enough pieces to honor exhibit requests.

The Cherokee Nation adopted Williard Stone's "Exodus" sculpture as that Nation's logo. He was proud to represent the Cherokee Nation at local, state and national functions. He mentored and encouraged young artists of all nationalities - to be all they could be.