“We gave the carving to the Conservancy to honor my late husband Gene and his love of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve,” JoAnn Quarles said. “We hope that many more people will now be able to appreciate the carving and hopefully contemplate on peaceful, mutually beneficial resolutions to our problems, much like the Conservancy's approach to protecting our environment.”
Before its delivery to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Jason Stone stands with his artwork “A Time of Peace”
Jason is the son of Willard Stone, a Native American artist best known for his wood sculptures. After Willard passed away in 1985, Jason continued sculpting in his dad’s workshop on the family plot in Locust Grove, OK.
“Gene and I always loved the Willard family's work,” Quarles said. “So when we began looking for a piece of art to hang on an empty wall of our home, we called Jason and asked if he would be interested in creating one for us. Jason was very excited. This would be the largest carving he had ever done.”
For this piece of work, Jason used a single plank of wood that his father acquired years before, but had never used. Jason had been saving this piece of wood for the right project and he felt the Quarles’ project was it. The bison relief is carved from this single board and mounted on another for display purposes.
The decision of subject matter for the carving came from both Jason and Gene. Gene had recently visited the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and loved the bison. All the while, Jason had been working on an idea for a carving depicting stories his father told him about how the bison were incredibly gentle when left alone. This gentleness is represented in the carving by the bird's nest as well as the bunny on the ground.
“We are very grateful for this generous gift. It is a beautiful piece of art and is a handsome addition to the entrance area of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Ecological Research Station. That area needed something to give it a ‘wow’ impact and this piece absolutely accomplished it,” Bob Hamilton, Preserve Director of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.
Gene Quarles enjoying a horseback ride at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in 2008.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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