Simon Graves’ assemblage piece “Untitled” won first place at the 2011 Veterans’ Creative Arts Festival in Oklahoma City. The piece is now in contention for the National Veterans’ Creative Arts Festival.
His artwork will be judged with artwork in the assemblage category from VA Medical Centers across the country.
“It is an honor and a testament to his skill and artistic ability that his artwork has achieved this level of success,” said Dawn Truby, Creative Arts Therapist for the Oklahoma City Department of Veterans Affairs.
Two of Graves' pieces placed third in the competition, one for mixed media and a sculpture.
Graves grew up in Fairfax, participating in the Osage In-Lon-Schka dances as a member of the Grayhorse district. His art career started in the 1980s after he served four years in the U.S. Navy. He a attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., where he concentrated on two and three dimensional art, which was painting and ceramics or pottery.
To this day he uses both mediums in his work when making ceramic sculptures and painting them to give his pieces realistic imagery. The mediums also give a touch of contemporary surrealism in his work.
He also enjoys painting on canvas. His designs are mainly contemporary Native American art.
“I’ve enjoyed selling my art work in the Oklahoma City area and also Albuquerque and Phoenix,” Graves said. “Art will always be an important part of my life.”