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Artist showcases art of others at her gallery/shop

A local artist has created her business based on hippy ideals and the drive to showcase local artists and their creations.

Shailah Red Elk, artist and owner of The Native Hippy Store/NH Gallery and accompanying clothing line, is having a drop-in grand opening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the shop, 2704 W. Gore. Red Elk will offer opening remarks at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to come enjoy refreshments and listen to live acoustic music by local talent. 

After graduating from Cameron University, Red Elk decided not to go for her master's degree. Instead, she said, "I opened my store around the corner from Cameron." She said everything "happened as it was supposed to."

"It wasn't a dream of mine to start this business," Red Elk said. "It just happened one day."

"It wasn't a plan of mine, it came to me in August," she said. 

Red Elk said she was looking to print some T-shirts as a way to spread her art. A stop in Affinitee Graphics' Apache print shop showed the budding entrepreneur "where I was meant to be." While discussing the shirts with Katrina Thompson, conversation turned toward developing her shop/gallery, and the ball kept rolling. But taking a loan for startup money wasn't really an option.

A member of the Comanche Nation, the annual per capita distribution check provided the money to make the idea become reality, much like art. Red Elk said the shop/gallery is part of a movement.

"I want to build relationships, support one another and love where you live," Red Elk said. "Keeping it local means everything to me." 

That feel fills the NH Gallery. It's replete with one-of-a-kind pieces from local talents like Morgan Carroll, Debbie Ambrose, Lindsey Bernard, Mike Martine, Mikel Davison, Two Eagles Norberto from Shine On Tattoo, Steve Southerland, Katrina Thompson and Rikki Schumann. The gallery agenda is for a collective good, Red Elk said.

"My goal is to man it, to push it out and get these artists exposed," Red Elk said. "There's just amazing people making amazing art."

Part of being a working artist comes from being paid for your work. By offering the shop and gallery, Red Elk hopes to expand the ranks of local artists making their due while reaching their home area audience. She wants the art's impact to expand people's perspectives on what is considered art.

The Lawton Constitution

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