Panhandle Train
  LeAnne Henry Wright
  Syniverse Technologies

Artist's Description

I took this photograph of my brother, Stephen Henry. He's 23 and lives and works on The Barby Ranch in Beaver, OK, with his wife of two years and baby of two months. As an artist I often look at my brother in a way I look at no one else. He has this movement about him that can be captured even in a still shot. When he's on a horse I feel like something greater gets to live on through him. Maybe I'm partial, but you can ask just about anyone; his presence is rich and most can't deny their longing to be near him. We grew up closer than most so now that we're both married, having a morning like this one will always be something I treasure.

This is a shot of him moving a train of colts through the meadow. The final image is a combination of two pictures, him and the colts and a sunset picture I took the week before. To capture the focal point of the piece I got up at 6 o'clock and had a cup of coffee with him by the kitchen sink. He put some camo on me and had me wait for him in the brush down in the pasture. An hour later he suddenly appeared through the grass. I saw his breath first, like the smokestack of a locomotive, leading the train of colts, then his posture,

Click photos for close-up

"In progress" photos

something I could pick out of a thousand others. He passed, I took six shots, and then he was gone. As most know, when you get a line of colts moving, like a train, it's best just to let them roll on by.

To me, this is the very soul of Oklahoma. Stephen's life, although only a beginning for him and his new family, it's a centennial tradition not only for Oklahoma but for this very ranch. My brother doesn't wear a suit to work, but he does ride a horse to lunch, where he keeps a daily appointment with his two favorite girls...his wife Christy and his daughter Justice.

My plan for the buffalo is to take this photo and transfer the essence of my brother and the beauty of the panhandle to the provided fiberglass cast. The line of the colts will come across the buffalo in line with the eye, stopping at his shoulder. The buffalo's legs, underbelly, and up to the colts will be painted prairie grass.

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.