NORMAN — So I’m finally turning my sights on someone that I was wanting to interview when she side-tracked me to Clara Dumas, and I am so blessed to have been sidetracked.
Meeting Dumas has been such a blessing. I am stubborn, though, and so I am back to talking with one of my favorite people in Norman: Nancy McClellan.
I’ve known McClellan for about 22 years. Our relationship started with my involvement in the annual Architectour. She was the director of the Firehouse Art Center at the time.
This event was organized as an annual fundraiser for the Firehouse Art Center, as well a way to raise community awareness of Norman’s great architecture. That event, to me, said everything that needs to be said about the strength, vision and ingenuity expressed in McClellan’s life.
McClellan is a truly creative person. She really does not sketch or paint, but what I saw in her then and now is the desire to not just do art but to get others to experience it, knowing that this experience would make our community a better place to live.
Her work as a grant writer and program director for these centers has enriched Norman in so many ways. All community art programs live and die by the ability to raise funding for the programs.
When she started writing proposals for the Firehouse, she found an outlet that helped her support the Norman art community in a way that helped it grow.
The Firehouse Art Center was and is a unique place for local citizens to learn painting, pottery, sculpture, jewelry making, weaving and landscape design and chainsaw carving.
I personally have taken painting, landscape design and chainsaw wood carving and have only regretted not taking the time to take courses in the rest. I also have served on the board under her leadership, so I have seen those skills first-hand.