We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Bloodgood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valerie, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of Modella Gallery is the relationships and networking with our board, the community leaders, visitors, students at Oklahoma State University and persons living in the area interested in seeing the benefits of having a part in community art.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hazel Modella Art Gallery(Modella Gallery) is a non-profit gallery dedicated to bringing contemporary arts to Stillwater, OK. The works include, but are not limited to, the visual and performing arts. We present a continuing program of art exhibitions by local and national artists. Music and performance events, screenings, modern dance, poetry readings and special projects are also featured. We encourage appreciation and understanding of art through direct contact with original works or art. It is difficult and rewarding as we step into our 4th year in this community. Between C19 and the general challenges of selling art in a rural community, we struggle financially. We have been fortunate to receive small grants. The vision has evolved and probably the most important thing to remember is to stay fluid in attitude and acceptance of change. There are many people in our community who have never been to an art gallery before; some are hesitant to step through the threshold, not knowing what to do or how to act. But once in, the expression of joy or awareness makes it all worthwhile.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When folks come to Stillwater, we like to take them to the Botanical Gardens, OSU museum, Wrestling Hall of Fame and Lake McMurtry. Some of the eateries include Good Little Eater, Boba Fusion, Hideaway Pizza, Eskimo Joes and a delivery of Cindy’s Pizza. Having a few drinks and enjoying local musicians in Stillwater at the State Room or Zanotti’s. The local brewery, Iron Monk, gives tours and has the best chocolate habanero stout. We take day drives to Pawnee, the Tall Grass Prairie in Pawhuska, Ponca City for Enrique’s Mexican food at the airport and because we are approximately an hour between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, we might check out the various museum exhibits, sites and restaurants in either of those towns.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many I am thankful for in bringing success to Modella including my two grandmothers whose names make us the gallery–Hazel Modella Art Gallery. Their strength and enduring legacy showed me one must continue to not only dream, but pursue that dream into a reality. As a non-profit, there are struggles and enormous blessings through others that accept the vision. Benefactors include the Stillwater Arts and Humanities Council, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Oklahoma Arts Council and In As Much Foundation. Our board members tirelessly assist with fundraising and promoting of the gallery. And, taking personal thank you full circle, I value my family’s understanding of time and desire it takes to accomplish this dream.
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