Artist Mike Wimmer of Edmond, OK, center, is shown with state Sen. Don Barrington, left, and state Rep. Don Armes during a ceremony last week at the Oklahoma Capitol during which Wimmer’s painting depicting the Abernathy Boys was dedicated. The painting is based on Bud and Temple Abernathy’s horse ride during a parade in New York City in 1910
Artist to Dedicate Latest Painting at State Capitol
OKLAHOMA CITY – Artist in residence and Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts Chairman Mike Wimmer will dedicate his 39th painting at the state Capitol Building at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The painting, titled “The Abernathy Boys,” depicts the culmination of the famous ride of the young Abernathy boys. On April 5, 1910, with Louis “Bud,” age 10, and Temple Abernathy, 6, on their horses Sam Bass and Geronimo, the boys headed to New York City from Oklahoma. They were on the trail for two months, riding to meet their friend, former President Theodore Roosevelt, as he returned to New York from an African safari. The painting shows the two boys astride their horses following behind Roosevelt and leading a delegation of the former president’s Rough Riders.
The piece is part of the Oklahoma Historical Paintings, a project of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund. It is being sponsored by Representative Don Armes and Senator Don Barrington.
Wimmer painted many of the works in the state Capitol Building. He started working on a national scale primarily as a children’s book illustrator. Some of his other projects include creating a more kind and gentle Mr. Clean illustration for the popular cleaning products company, the cover art for Disney’s “Lion King” soundtrack, commemorative can designs for Planters Peanuts and an ornament featuring Will Rogers to hang on the White House Christmas tree as Oklahoma’s representative decoration.
I've had the pleasure and honor of being commissioned by the Oklahoma State Preservation Fund to paint a portrait of Oklahoma Master artist Charles Banks Wilson. He painted the large murals and portraits hanging in the Oklahoma Capital rotunda. I met with him in his Fayetteville, AR studio to take pictures and make a few sketches. He regaled me with stories of his life and career as we went over many pictures of him and his work. To complete the portrait I had a friend Chris Nick pose for the body. Creating the portrait to look as if a younger CBW was painting in front of me was the real challenge. Please take a look at the pictures of the painting in progress and enjoy the process.
Portrait artist Mike Wimmer explains how he first learned about his mentor Charles Banks Wilson
on a high school field trip to the state Capitol.
Artist Charles Banks Wilson was honored at the state Capitol Wednesday with the dedication
of his portrait. Pictured L-R: Billie Barnett, artist Mike Wimmer, Charles Wilson,
preservation fund president Charles Ford and Howard Barnett.
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