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Kick up your heels at Stillwater Arts and Humanitiesy Yee Haw Yuletide

Stillwater Journal of Stillwater, Oklahoma

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Rhinestones and wranglers, Red Dirt Rangers and local artists kick off Stillwater's holiday season on Nov. 13 at the Annual Festival of the Trees.

The event includes dinner, entertainment, live and silent auctions and will be held at the Wes Watkins Center at Oklahoma State University.

The Festival of the Trees is the Stillwater Arts and Humanities Council's only fundraiser each year, according to Jeri Seefeldt, council past president and festival chair.

"Monies from the generous festival donations are distributed as grants to schools and community organizations with an emphasis on exposing Stillwater's young people to the arts and engaging them in creative endeavors and cultural activities," said Seefeldt.

Stillwater Public Schools students and teachers benefit through events such as the World Music Drumming workshop for teachers, Pleasant Valley School days, Oklahoma Community Theatre Association Youth Camp scholarships, SPS art program and Back to School Music Blast.

P opular cultural and entertainment activities are also provided in part through these grants including the Sheerar Center Summer Music Series, Red Dirt Film Festival, Town and Gown Community Theatre, the Oklahoma State University Botanical Gardens Music Series and Judith Karman Hospice Play Festival and Stillwater Run for the Arts.

Each year a local artist is also featured. This year, Sculptor Lou Moore Hale will be featured. A native Oklahoman, Hale has explored the classical tradition in art through travel and study in Greece, Italy, Germany and France. A former public school educator, she has also taught sculpture classes at the Multi Art Center in Stillwater.

Focusing primarily on portraiture in terra cotta and bronze, Hale's work has been juried into the Oklahoma Sculpture Society and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Her specialized studies in sculpture have been featured in numerous exhibitions and received numerous awards.

"I find it challenging to capture not only a likeness but character of the individual as well," Hale said. "Each portrait becomes a legacy, a lasting likeness of someone special."

Examples include Henry Bellmon whose sculpture is located in the Henry Bellmon Research Building on the Oklahoma State University campus and Winfrey Houston whose bronze is located in the Stillwater Community Center.

To purchase tickets call 405-533-2525 or go to Wooden Nickel 401 S. Washington or Jackson Diamond Jeweler, 414 N. Perkins Rd.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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