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Pushmataha County recognized documentary

April 19, 2012

Production still of the Choctaw Ponies at Chahta Isuba Ranch near Antlers.

Pushmataha County was recognized in the debut of a documentary titled "The Earth Chronicles Project: Oklahoma" held on Saturday, March 17 at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee.

Fran Hardy, M.Ed., artist and educator and Bob Demboski, filmmaker, produced a series of documentaries that illustrate the intersection of art, creativity, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation in different regions of the United States.

In May, 2011 Hardy and Demboski visited Jim Stevens, owner of Chahta Isuba Ranch and Fossil River Preserve in Pushmataha County on which the Choctaw ponies live. The documentary highlighted how these horses, who once ran free on our area mountains have been moved and the ongoing efforts to save these majestic creatures from extinction. Stevens is a supporter of this effort allowing the horses to be taken care of at Chahta Isuba Ranch and Fossil River Preserve.

The film also included highlights of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve; Four Canyon preserve; Keystone Ancient Forest Preserve; Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art; St. Gregory’s Abbey; Kim Baker, Oklahoma conservation photographer; artists Katherine Liontas-Warren and Jack Bryan in the Wichita Mountains; Tulsa synthetic landscape painter, Grace Grothaus; Museum of the Red River; Little River National Wildlife Refuge; Closer to Earth Youth Gardens; Jerri Redcorn, Caddo potter; and Dr. Ian Thompson, Choctaw archaeologist, anthropologist and artist.

The event was also attended by Bryant and Darlene Rickman, owners of the Choctaw ponies; Harold and Donna Davis; Michael and Francine Bray; Randy and Dianne Weeks; Victoria Hicks and Brad and Jennie Smith on behalf of Chahta Isuba Ranch and Fossil River Preserve.

Fran Hardy’s work has been featured in six museum exhibitions and Bob Demboski’s long career in television and film making include clients such as The Oprah Show, Bravo, Discovery Channel and HBO. They are currently working on The Earth Chronicles Project documentary being broadcast on PBS and OETV.

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