Larsen, Mike

Date of Birth: 
October 27, 1944
Place of Birth: 
Dallas, TX.



     The renowned Chickasaw artist Mike Larsen was born on October 27, 1944 in Dallas, TX. AS a youngster, Mike contracted polio, which affected his right side. He subsequently learned to use his left hand. Mike graduated from Amarillo (TX) Hlgh school ln 1963. Interested ln an Art career, Mlke took several art classes at Amarillo (TX) Junior college, the University of Houston (TX) & West Texas State university (Canyon, TX). At 36, Mike continued his studies at the prestigious Art Students League (New York, NY). He studied painting from several talented instructors lncluding David Leffel. Experimenting with a variety of art styles, Mike developed his own personal painting style uSing bold colors, accentuated by black & white. Mike frequently emphasizes the spirituality of his Indian subjects with oversized, elongated hands. Mike has worked as a painter & a sculptor. He works in oil, acrylic, pencil, pastel & prints. Mike currently lives in Perkins, OK.
     Mike has exhibited his artwork extensively & won numerous awards at the Aspen/Snowmass (CO) Celebration for the American Indian, the American Indian & Cowboy Artists National Western Art Exhibition (San Dimas, CA), the Colorado Indian Market (Denver, CO), the Cherokee National Museum (Tahlequah, OK), the Five Civilized Tribes Museum (Muskogee, OK), the Haskell Indian Junior college Lawrence (KS) Indian Arts Market, A Little classic Native American Indian Art Show (Guthrie, OK), the Oklahoma Art Center Gallery All-Oklahoma Indian Artists Invitational (Oklahoma City, OK), the Oklahoma State Capitol (Oklahoma City, OK), the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK), the Red Earth Festival (Oklahoma City, OK), the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts' Indian Market (santa Fe, NM) & the Tulsa (OK) Art Festival & Pow wow. In 1992, Mike participated in the Franco-American Institute Exhibit (Rennes, France). Mike's artwork is featured in numerous private & public art collections, including the Oklahoma State Art Collection at the Oklahoma State Capitol (Oklahoma City, OK).
     In 1983, Mike was awarded full membership in the Pastel society of America (New York, NY). In 1991, Mike received a commission to paint a mural "Flight of Spirit" of the five world renowned Oklahoma Indian Ballerinas in the Oklahoma State capitol. In 1992, Mike was one of the eight Indian Artists represented in the Year of the Indian Exhibition at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Mike subsequently received commissions for a Mural from the University of Oklahoma for the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center & from the Oklahoma Art Institute for eight murals at the Quartz Mountain Resort, Art & Conference Center (Altus/Lugert, OK). In 2004, Mike was commissioned to paint 24 portraits of the Chickasaw Living Elders, that are included in a companion book "They Know who They Are" (2008), that was nominated for an Oklahoma Book Award. In 2005, Mike was chosen by the State of Oklahoma to design a U.S. postage stamp commemorating the state's Centennial. In 2006, Mike was named Oklahoman of the Year by the state magazine "Oklahoma Today". The same year, the Chickasaw Nation asked Mike to paint another 24 portraits of Chickasaw Living Elders. In 2007, Mike was commissioned by the Pokagon band of the Potowatomi Indians to paint eight murals on tribal history for their new casino. The same year the Oklahoma Centennial Committee commissioned Mike to create two monumental bronzes for the Oklahoma City Civic Center. In 2009, Mike was commissioned by the Oklahoma History Center to paint murals & paintings on the civil war in Oklahoma.
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