Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finding An Unexpected Treasure, The Petrified Wood and Art Gallery in Ogallala, Nebraska

As you travel across the country you get so busy driving that you sometimes push your journey. Instead of driving the recommended two, two, two, (drive two hundred miles a day, find a park by two pm, and stay two days), you drive three or four or even five hundred miles. Its a good way to get somewhere but you miss so much, What you miss is what we call unexpected treasures....
So when we pulled into Ogallala, Nebraska, we just happened to notice a sign that advertised the Petrified Wood and Art Gallery. Calling the gallery, we found out that they closed at four pm and so we grabbed a water bottle and headed out the door for a twenty minute hike.
Reaching the gallery, a volunteer explained that the gallery represented the work of two brothers, Harvey and Howard Kenfield. They had been collecting petrified wood, minerals, and rocks and had created unique art works. She also told us that other artists had contributed their own work.
The first display cases showed stone buildings, all made from pieces of petrified wood collected in Washington State. A button allowed you to play each one of the fossilized music boxes. We were instantly mesmerized at the detail and beauty of each building.
On the wall another artist had taken their collection of arrowhead pieces and turned it into a stone buffalo. The image I took is pretty bad but each little piece is another arrowhead fragment!. The buffalo head was just one of many arrowhead art works!
Around another corner we found an amazing display of stone butterflies. Each had delicate and thin of minerals, ground and then polished in a vibrator rock tumbler. As we work rock we were amazed at how the delicate wings had survived the process and I could see that Renita and I were inspired in our attempts to work beautiful stone.
Another corner and more work, this was a wall hanging of drift wood inset withe a stone building. Next we saw frame after frame filled with more buildings, and all made from petrified wood pieces. Each piece had been hand sawed and meticulously placed and glued together!
Other frames held paintings on rock slices and slabs. One was a large piece of Icelandic Spar/Selenite gypsum, On the polished surface a polar bear had been beautifulyl painted! Of course there were case after case filled with polished petrified wood from seventeen western states. These include quite a bit of petrified wood from The Blue Forest of Wyoming, Eden Valley, Big Sandy, and Whiskey Basin  where we have also rock hounded, (they opened our eyes to the quality of our own collection).
So if you are ever in Ogallala, Nebraska, or just passing through, we highly recommend you stop and take the time to visit the Petrified Wood and Art Gallery. The unique collection and works of the Kenfield brothers show a love of stone and fossil that will inspire you, regardless of your medium! Clear skies

1 comment:

  1. I will have to stop there the next time we come through Ogallala. Thanks for exposing us to this little place, Mark!!!