Each May, the City of Southlake and its main shopping area, Town Center, host Art in the Square, a wonderful weekend of artists and their outdoor art. The artists come from all over the world to show their creations in an outdoor venue, sprawled over several acres of the Town Center pavilion area. Each year, Art in the Square grows, and the caliber of artists continues to increase as well.
Last year, my husband Michael and I were strolling the exhibits, peeking in on some of the tents and looking at the amazing talent on display. As we neared the end of one row, we saw some figures that appeared to be nicely carved wood. I was immediately drawn to the tent, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were incredible bronze sculptures of Hopi women, with different chemical treatments bringing out different colors on the bronze. The attention to detail was breathtaking, and I found myself enchanted by one particular sculpture, titled Place Where the Butterflies Land. When you visit my home page, you can see the sculpture on the carousel of pictures.
As I admired the sculpture, a young lady approached and offered additional information. She was Crystal Obrzut, one of Kim’s daughters. She told me some of the story behind the sculpture, particularly the stylized representation of the Hopi women and the cultural significance of the butterflies. And then her mom, Kim Obrzut, came over and we chatted for a bit. Of course, I had to have the sculpture, as it really touched my heart with its graceful lines and stunning majesty. Kim offered to take the sculpture back to Flagstaff so that she could get it cleaned up, and then she would ship it to me. We agreed, and I extended an invitation for Kim and her daughter to come over and visit, breaking some of the tedium of hotel life going from show to show. Time didn’t permit that weekend, but we stayed in touch, particularly as this year’s Southlake Art in the Square drew near.
The exhibition is a three-day affair, running Friday through Sunday. We made it over to Town Center on Sunday morning, just as they opened at 11 a.m. Crystal was in the tent, and she greeted us both with a smile and a hug. Kim was still back at their hotel, getting things packed for their trip back to Flagstaff. So Crystal showed us some of Kim’s newest creations, and we chatted for a bit.
After a while, Kim arrived, and it was almost like two old friends getting together again. In addition to being incredibly talented, Kim is a sweet, wonderful lady and just as gracious as could be. Kim told us stories about the Hopi traditions, and I felt like a little sponge soaking up all of her tales. Much of Kim’s sculpture is taken from her time growing up on the Third Mesa of the Hopi reservation, and she faithfully represents the elegance and serenity of this peaceful people. As Michael and I had driven through the Hopi three mesas earlier this spring, I felt an immediate connection to her stories.
And yes, if you are wondering, I did manage to acquire another of Kim’s marvelous bronze sculptures this May, and Kim will be shipping it to me as soon as it is created in the foundry and ready for my gallery- this one is called Spirit of Creation. I would dearly love to make this an annual tradition, building my knowledge of Hopi and my collection of Kim’s work at the same time.
Kim and Crystal have headed back to Flagstaff, with Kim eager to go to California to welcome her new granddaughter to the world in June. Unfortunately, that means we will miss her when we are out in Flagstaff later this month, but I think one of these days we will be able to sit down outside the hubbub of a show and get to know each other better. After all, that is one of the reasons why I have continued the Dancing Rabbit Gallery – it gives me a wonderful opportunity to get to meet and know some pretty amazing artists. Whether they are painters, sculptors, potters, carvers, weavers, or talented in other ways, I think knowing something about them helps to bring their art to life a bit more for me. Hopefully with these tales of mine, I am able to bring their work to life a little bit more for you as well.