NORMAN — Longtime Norman resident and celebrated artist O. Gail Poole died Saturday.
A celebratory gathering will be from 4 to 8 p.m. May 2 at the MAINSITE Gallery, 122 E. Main in Norman. Guests are asked to dress as colorfully as they desire.
Poole, 77, was born in Marlow and held a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Oklahoma. He has painted for more than half a century. Many of his works depict the landscape and the subtle attitudes of the untamed Southwestern plains.
Prior to making the decision to become a full-time artist, Poole worked as an award-winning advertising artist and illustrator for almost two decades.
He created and served as chairman of the Oklahoma City Art Directors Guild and opened an advertising art studio in Oklahoma City, Poole-Hobbes Inc.
In 1972, Poole was invited to participate in an international exhibition of Western art in Düsseldorf, Germany.
He was honored with a professional advancement award in 1992 from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
He participated in countless solo, group, juried group and special exhibitions in museums and galleries across the United States.
Additionally, his work hangs in a number of national and international private collections.
Poole ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Norman in 2004 and was a frequent contributor to the newspaper’s letters columns.
He reflected on his work in the early 1990s, “... I have striven to be honest with my work and do only those things that please me other than those commissions necessary for living expenses.
“I have worked hard to learn the many disciplines of painting so that I can depict whatever image or statement I desire, with or without the benefit of ‘props.’”
“I will continue my broad spectrum of work though most galleries are generally uncomfortable with unpredictable artists.”
“Each painting is to stand on its own, without benefit of explanation or justification. No juxtapositions or other ephemeral buzzwords seeking to confuse or dissipate.”