Sam Daniels, 52, Oklahoma City. Photo by Michael Farrell.

Interview – Sam Daniels, 52, Oklahoma City

Sam: My son went to school out here back, I think. I don’t know exactly what year, but a few years ago, he went on to OU, then George Washington, and he’s running for Senate this year, Rico Smith.

Michael: When he was at OCCC, what was his major? 

Sam: Political science, now he’s running for Senate. So he has always been real into politics.

Michael: What district for Senator?

Sam: I know it’s the northeast side. I can’t remember what number it is, but it’s the northeast side and it is the State Senate.

Michael: Does he have any other experience in politics? 

Sam: Yeah, he’s done some consulting and he was campaign manager for a couple of people. But he stayed in DC for about three years. Just networking and stuff like that in Washington, DC.

Michael: And when did he do that exactly? 

Sam: That was probably about let’s see, he’s been back for about a few years. So let’s see, I want to say about 2000, maybe 17 years.

Michael: Interesting. So his run for Senate would be his first, when he’s not consulting?

Sam: He also has a candle making company. And he’s got his 46th Camels in a tourism place, the capital, and a couple of other stores. 

Michael: He sounds busy, actually. Yeah. Businessman and a Senator. 

Sam: Yes.

Michael: Do you have any idea of the platform he has when he’s running on?

Sam: No, I sure don’t.I haven’t talked to him about it yet.

Michael: What was his name?

Sam: Rico Smith

Michael: What is your name?

Sam: Sam Daniels, I’m 52 from Oklahoma City.

Interview – Karen

Michael: And to start. What’s your name and age? 

Karen: I’m not telling you my age, but my name is Karen.

Michael: What do you do here as a volunteer for the Arts Festival?

Karen: I am the day chair for the Media Tent at the Arts Festival. And what we do in the Media Tent is we help people like you who are members of the media to learn more about the Arts Festival, to find artists to interview and to talk to our chairs and get our story out. Let everybody know about how wonderful and fantastic the festival is.

Michael: Does the Arts Festival offer any kind of programs for schools? Like do they hand out media passes to school papers?

Karen: Well, the Arts Festival is absolutely free, so you don’t really need a pass to get here. But anybody of any age is welcome to be here and to enjoy the Arts Festival. We do have some school groups that perform on our performing arts stages, and we also have a children’s area that has face painting and kids can make their own art. So there’s all sorts of things to do and see who’s here.

Interview – Paul Devoti, San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua (This location was from his website.NICA Ceramic Art)

Michael: What’s your name and age?

Paul: My name is Paul Devoti. My studio is Atlanta studio, and I am the big five-o.

Michael: What would you say got you started with art?

Paul: My work. It’s based off my experience in the Peace Corps in the village in Nicaragua. I went there in 1995. I was 24 years old. And they had a 2000 year cultural heritage called me boy anyway in Indiana. And I had a 20 year career helping and sponsoring artists from the village to my home in North Carolina. And I went back to the village and built a house there and started the studio with four indigenous Potter friends. That’s kind of so the studios in town wandered into Nicaragua to play there. It’s pretty cool to work there. Yeah, it’s based on the Heritage there. 

Michael: And how has that been going, since it started?

Paul: Well, you know, like I said, I had a 20 year career, career sponsoring artists. So I got all of the logistics on how to do events like this kind of work. designs on Atlantis pots are things that I’ve thought about and kind of now at this age, and we’re able to put them together as a mixture of native and modern designs.

Michael: You mentioned you were in the Peace Corps, what inspired you to get started with that?

Paul: Well, I did a semester abroad in college. I traveled a bit, I was excited by the traveling. And then at the point where I decided to go I was on the 24th floor of the Lincoln building in Manhattan, New York. And I wondered if my life was over and what I was gonna do and so I went to a Peace Corps meeting and I knew nothing about Nicaragua and they mentioned the program and so it just like yeah, I’m gonna give it a shot

Michael: And was Nicaragua the only place you went there in the Peace Corps?

Paul: I travel a lot of places, but that’s where I did my Peace Corps. I drove there on time, from Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael: How’d that go?

Paul: For Six and a half days really hammering but I saw a lot in Mexico and Guatemala. And I ended up later on going and traveling and seeing places kind of just driving by on the road.

Michael: So you’ve been heavily influenced, you’d say by the indigenous population?

Paul: Yeah

Interview – Jim Prosper, 29, Oklahoma City

Michael: To start, what’s your name and age? 

Jim: Jim Prosper 29. (Jim is from Oklahoma City, I asked him off camera)

Michael: And what got you into business photography?

Jim: I got my bachelor’s degree from UCLA in photography. So kind of that started off, I would always take pictures, family vacations and stuff, kind of when I started learning how to use a camera and stuff like that was at UCLA.

Michael: And how’d you experience with UCLA and your beginnings with photography go?

Jim: That’s kind of what got me into doing the stars and Milky Way stuff with my senior capstone and really trying to find something to push myself to try something different. Ended up being a real passion of mine that I

Michael: Have you always been into space and nature?

Jim: Yeah, I’ve always been into that and just kind of use that to figure out my niche for photography and where to go with it and kind of battling it out for myself.

Michael: And when you got to take your pictures, do you have any equipment for lighting? Or do you go with just the natural lighting of the area?

Jim: I have a Canon Mark three that I shoot with. I gotta use a tripod for longer exposures and then I’ll use the camera flashes too.

Michael: And right here, it looks like you got smoke. Do you usually use props of any kind?

Jim: Usually not. Usually natural state that it’s in there.

Michael: And are these edited at all

Jim: Color and stuff like that bring colors out but they’re all true photos

Michael: And is there any particular place you prefer to take pictures?

Jim: I’m always on the Wichita Mountains and out towards Lawton. That’s a good place. All kinds of different fields that you can get.

Michael: Yeah, I got three. Awesome. Well, I appreciate you talking to me.

Interview – Bill Gordon, Grimes, Iowa, Bill Gordon – An Abstract Impressionist, Commission Artist (

Michael: When did you first get into making art?

Bill: I have been painting since I was a little kid. I used to do a lot of sketch drawing. And I was kind of the geek that the teacher would say, Billy. Billy, we would do the bulletin board. It started really young. I used to try to redraw Mad Magazine. The entire comic. And bad I thought I could do it better.

Michael: I’ll be honest, I don’t know, maybe I’m too young.

Bill: So anyway, I went through a banking career and  I retired from that about 20 some odd years ago. And I always loved painting. So I decided to start painting. And my wife was an interior designer. And so one day she saw a piece and she went, I’m looking for a piece for my clients. That’s perfect for her. And it was a very contemporary piece because I liked doing contemporary. And so she ended up selling one of my pieces, almost 25 years ago. And so ever since then, I’ve been selling art all over the world.

Michael: Oh, really? What would you say would be the most obscure location you’ve sold a piece?

Bill: Well, let’s see I’ve shipped to Paris, I’ve shipped to London, I shipped to Nairobi, Kenya.

Michael: Yeah, interesting. Nairobi. That’s kinda out there. Yeah. Awesome. And have you always been into this sort of style of abstract expressionism?

Bill: In my early years I would do masted ships on the ocean with the webbing and the netting and the crow’s nest at the top and big sales and cannons on the ships and paint the ocean in the background in the sky in the wild and this I transitioned from that.

(There was a big gust of wind in this part)

Bill: The energy and the colors and the combination of colors and that really appeals to me. That’s my presentation that I do a lot of things with a lot of different techniques and styles I developed and I’ve had other artists that did some of my stuff they tried to copy and they come back. What am I doing wrong? Naturally I don’t tell anybody. Yeah, the largest piece I ever did was 7’x 11’and it’s hanging in a house (inaudible). It’s just my business but it really is an advanced hobby. Now I sell hundreds of pieces a year for the country and I only do about eight mergers like this then it allows me to travel to the southwest.

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