News Buff
  Chris Porter
  The Oklahoman

Artist's Description

The NEWSBUFF story:

Understanding a full story comes from the sum of the detailed parts. The buffalo supported tribes -- providing food, shelter, clothing, tools, ornamentation, and spiritual strength. Analogous to the Native Americans, who used every part of the buffalo to sustain life; now, more than ever, The Oklahoman sustains society; providing relevant and stimulating news and information about even more than food, shelter, clothing, tools, ornamentation, and spiritual strength.

Each side of the NEWSBUFF tells a parallel story about the past 100 years of The Oklahoman and of Oklahoma. NEWSBUFF's right side shows the 100 year story of The Oklahoman newspaper; the left side showing 100 years of Oklahoma.

Continuing in the legacy of Oklahoma's buffalo, NEWSBUFF illustrates how The Oklahoman's parts sum to tell a complete story, communicating the full account of events touching our community's daily lives. The Oklahoman's century of history is illustrated through its front pages. Sprinkled throughout the front pages are the people and resources that make publishing the paper possible, then and now.

Oklahoma's story begins with artful drawings of a buffalo hunt -- a primitive means of telling a story by the Native people so significant to Oklahoma's history. Oklahoma's history, also depicted through a collage of The Oklahoman''s front pages, depicts the people and events who framed its 100-year story.
Click photos for close-up


The surface of NEWSBUFF is covered with newspaper and photo images printed on paper and using ink that would hopefully stand up to the Sun's UV light. The paper collage was applied to the buffalo using decopage (a gesso/paper mache type substance). This was followed by hand painting the hoofs, nose, tail and horns before several coats of varnish was sprayed to protect the surface from the elements. A prarie ground base and wooden NEWSBUFF sign were added to enhance the appearance of the buffalo.

On The Oklahoman side of NEWSBUFF, the evolution of The Oklahoma Publishing Company is depicted: from The Oklahoman, to radio, to television, to newsok.com. Significant front page-worthy events are shown including an early page one from 1894, a page with one of the first wire photos, and the centennial edition. Throughout these pages are images of production, press, editorial, our family-owned management team.

On the Oklahoma side, the state's history is captured with many front page headlines including Oklahoma becoming a state, weather-related stories, the oil boom, and the Murrah bombing. Other images show native Oklahomans, historical icons, and cultural events that illustrate of the story of Oklahoma. Some of these include: Will Rogers, Carl Albert, Wilma Mankiller, Garth Brooks, Frank Phillips, Tom Stafford, the evolving Oklahoma City skyline, oil wells, the first state flag, Route 66, the musical Oklahoma!, and OSU and OU logos.

Spirit of the Buffalo originated as a public art project combining art, commerce and civic pride in Oklahoma featuring Oklahoma artists. Initial proceeds benefited the Nature Conservancy's work in Oklahoma. The website project continues through private funds.