Nicole Poole Shares Her Father's Legacy

O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master is a true landmark exhibit. Thanks to the vision of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame | Gaylord-Pickens Museum, I have had the profound honor of bringing my late father’s artwork out of the dark and into the light of its hallowed halls.

The talk I will lead on July 14, 2016 from 6-7 p.m., The Legacy of O. Gail Poole: A Daughter’s Mission is an opportunity for me to not only describe my rather unconventional process to bring my father’s work to the public, but also to dive deeper, beyond the words “Master” and “Legacy.” I want you to know more about the man I simply called “Dad;” the heart behind my efforts.

Dad was a 4th generation Oklahoman, and, to me, embodied the best of our traits; he was tenacious, loyal and hardworking, with a finely-tuned Okie humor that could set any room ablaze.

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Poole Clowning During a Modeling Session for Artist Mike Wimmer

While it is true that art was a profound and inexorable part of Dad, it is intertwined with his upbringing and influences; I think of two trees that have grown together — separate, yet indivisible.

Those tenacious trees took root in hard soil; Dad was born in 1935 in rural Marlow, Oklahoma as the only child of Hazel and Woodrow, who lived in the back of Woodrow’s father’s gas station. My grandfather was a laborer who painted as a hobby. My grandmother was a teacher and, with no other options for daycare, began taking Dad to school at the age of 3. In 1939 (fittingly, the same year Steinbeck wrote “The Grapes of Wrath”) Woodrow, unable to find work, set out for California, leaving Dad to be raised alone in the country by Hazel, a working single mother.

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Pool Gas Station, Marlow OK. Birthplace of O. Gail Poole

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Gail & Hazel, 1943

Cut to 80 years later, where a poor country boy’s work is being celebrated by audiences around the world.

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2016, The Oklahoma Hall of Fame | Gaylord-Pickens Museum

The journey from point A to point B is profound on many levels, and shines a light on Dad’s dedication and his fortitude to persevere, no doubt fueled by the determination embedded in his deep Oklahoma roots.

The legacy of O. Gail Poole climbs steadily to greater heights because of the magical combination of the masterworks he created, and the enthusiasm of ordinary people, myself included, who have embraced Dad in his absence, inspired by his art and by his story.

I look forward to sharing both with you. I hope to see you Thursday.

Thank you, deeply, for your interest in O. Gail Poole.

Kindest regards,

Nicole

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