ABOUT MIKE & MARTHA LARSEN
Mike Larsen is a painter and sculptor of history. Researching the people and events he paints and sculpts, he spends much of his studio time in books and on the internet, reading - historical accuracy being as important as his pallette. He creates paintings and sculpture commissioned by Governments, Corporations and Individuals located throughout the United States. Mike’s love for painting and sculpting dancing figures began in 1991 when he was commissioned by the State of Oklahoma to paint a 26 foot long mural for the Capitol Rotunda of five internationally prominent ballet dancers, all born in Oklahoma. His love of painting Native Peoples comes from his Chickasaw Ancestory in whose Hall of Fame he was installed in 2000. In 2015 Mike was named to the "Oklahoma Hall of Fame". Mike's autobiography "Don't Never Let Go of Your Horses" will be published in the fall of 2016.
In 2004, Mike painted eight murals - four about teaching the arts and four about local Native American History - for the Oklahoma Art Institute and six murals for the University of Oklahoma Reynolds Performing Art Center and School of Dance.
In 2008, Mike completed the two year project of eight murals for the Pokagon Band Potowatomi Tribe in Michigan. He has completed the Chickasaw Nation's Living Elders project - 48 portraits of Elders of the Nation. He recently completed a public commission for a twice life sized sculpture for St. Joseph's Regional Health Center in Patterson, NJ, and is preparing to work on a project on the Civil War in Oklahoma.
In the Fall of 2012 Mike completed "The Arrival" for the Chickasaw Cultural Center. It is a twice life bronze representing the new start of the Chickasaw Nation after removal from the Homeland.
Mike is represented by Sanders Gallery in Tucson, Jones-Terwilliger Galleries in Palm Desert, CA, Pierson Gallery in Tulsa and Joy Reed Belt in Oklahoma City.
Mike and Martha were married in 1990 and raised their children in Oklahoma City. Becoming empty nesters, they moved to rural Oklahoma in 2004 where they have their respective studios and always meet on either the front porch or in front of their fireplace, depending on the weather, for happy hour.
As Mike's assistant and collaborator on projects through the years, Martha has brought her background in art, business and photography to the partnership. Also traditionally trained and a lover and practioner of many art forms, she has come full circle to the craft she learned from her mother Flonnie, over 50 years ago - working with fabric. Specializing in non-traditional quilting, Martha paints with fabric.
Mike Larsen, a short CV
2016 - Commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation to produce a monumental sculpture titled "Victorious"
2016 - Induction into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame, April 29, 2016
2015 – Induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, November 19, 2015
2015 – Commission by Mississippi Department of Archives & History for two historic paintings
2012 – Dedication of “The Arrival” at the Chickasaw Cultural Center
2012 – Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award - Special Recognition Award
2012 – Created mural design for the movie “August, Osage County”
2011 – Commissioned by The Chickasaw Nation to create a monumental sized bronze for the Chickasaw Cultural Center titled “The Arrival”.
2010 – “I Am Proud to be Chickasaw” – book publication date October 2010
2009 – Opening of the exhibit “I am Very Proud to be Chickasaw”, Oklahoma Historical Society, November, Oklahoma City
2009 – Commissioned by St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Patterson, NJ, to create a monumental sized bronze for their newly constructed entrance
2008 – “They Know Who They Are” – book publication date October, 2008
2007 – Opening of the exhibit “They Know Who They Are”, Oklahoma History Center, November 2 , Oklahoma City
2007 – Commissioned by the Pokagan Band of the Potawatomi Tribe to create eight historical murals
2007 – Two monumental size bronzes unveiled at the Oklahoma City Civic Center which were commissioned by the Oklahoma Centennial Committee
2006 – Commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation to create a second 24 paintings of Living Elders.
2006 – Named 2006 “Oklahoman of the Year” by the state magazine, “Oklahoma Today”
2006 – Unveiling of the Oklahoma Centennial Postage Stamp.
2006 – Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Centennial Committee to create two monumental size bronzes to represent the arts in Oklahoma
2005 – Commissioned by the United States Post Office to create the stamp for the Oklahoma Centennial, to be issued in 2007
2005 – Commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation to create 24 paintings of Living Elders
2004 – Six Murals commissioned by The University of Oklahoma for The Reynolds Performing Arts Center and the O.U. School of Dance
2003 – Commissioned by National Bank of Commerce for the first in a series of “Oklahoma Artists”.
2002 – “Council at Oak Tree”, painting depicting the historic Creek Council tree in what is now Tulsa, OK. Oklahoma State Capitol
2001 – The Young Dancer, commissioned for the Oklahoma City Art Museum.
2000 – Eight Murals at Quartz Mountain Lodge, Oklahoma Institute of Art, Lone Wolf, Ok.
1995 – Cloud People, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Oklahoma City, OK branch.
1993 – Six paintings commissioned by Turner Publishing used to illustrate The Native Americans: an Illustrated History, a six part television documentary and book (see bibliography).
1991 – Flight of Spirit, (22 ft by 11 ft) mural, Great Rotunda, Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City, OK. Five Native American Ballerinas: Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Maria Tallchief, Marjorie Tallchief and Moscelyne Larkin.