Carvings by Stanton Pace featured as elements of the set in production of Russ Tall Chief play “The Chainsaw Artist”
August 11-12 and 18-19, 2017
About the play, the OK Gazette writes:
“Wood tells you what it wants to be…you just have to listen.”
In this intimate production, an Osage chainsaw artist lives deep in the woods, sneaking into Pawhuska, OK, at night to secretly carve animals in tree stumps around town. No one has seen him in years and many people believe he is a ghost. When a woman decides to track down the artist in the woods, she discovers much more than just a ghost story.
“The story draws upon the origins of the Osage people and how we came to inhabit earth,” Russ Tall Chief says. “An ethereal thread runs through the story as the four characters search for spiritual solace—an inner peace—which they can only achieve through forgiveness.”
Mosiah Salazar Bluecloud (Kickapoo)
Candice Byrd (Cherokee, Quapaw, Osage)
Dillon Griffitts (Choctaw)
Maya Torralba (Kiowa, Wichita, Comanche)
Russ Tall Chief (Osage) is the Director of Student Engagement, Inclusion, and Multicultural Programs at Oklahoma City University. He is the author of Jacobson and the Kiowa Five, a play published in celebration of the Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s four-year anniversary of the New Native American Play Festival. He is also a Taildancer in the In’lonshka Osage ceremonial dances and nephew of renowned Osage ballerinas Maria and Marjorie Tall Chief.
Carvings by Stanton Pace
300 E. Main St. – Norman
About Stanton Pace — 2017
By MIRANDA VANMETER
Stan Pace and his wife Shana live on land near Pink with their chickens, cat, several Great Danes, a sheepdog, a quarter horse, a draft horse, two bison and a black bear. In the past the Paces have also had rabbits, sheep and elk. Shana breeds Great Danes and Stan is an artist. He makes sculptures out of cement and carves wood, both with wood carving tools and with a chainsaw. Stan picked up wood carving four years ago and has been doing personal work and for his company, Bowser’s Chainsaw & Wood Carving, which is named after his black bear, ever since. He also does demonstrations of his chainsaw carving and has been a part of Tecumseh’s Frontier Days in the past. His work was featured in this year’s Rotary Club Art Show at Tecumseh City Hall. “I love meeting the people in Tecumseh,” Stan said.
Before he began his wood carving business, Stan was a concrete sculptor for 24 years. He made things like swimming pools, fountains, statues and concrete molds and stamps. Some of his concrete work can be seen at the Oklahoma City Zoo. While he still does concrete sculptures, they are now more on an individual, commissioned artwork system than commercial, mass-produced jobs. When Stan isn’t doing his artwork, he’s caring for and spending time with his animals.
Their sheepdog, Simon, is now more 15 years old and retired since they no longer have sheep. When they had rabbits, the rabbits would cuddle Simon in the winter and allow him to watch over them. Now the chickens do the same thing. “He’s got a true shaman spirit,” said Stan. These days Simon just guards Stan’s workshop and the henhouse with help from Faith, one of Shana’s Great Danes. The Paces’ quarter horse is named Takoda, which means “dancing girl” in the Lakota Sioux language, because she gets nervous and “dances” when walking in the woods. Stan is currently training their draft horse to pull logs out of the woods for him after he chops them down. Her name is Wachiwi, which means “friend to everyone” in Lakota Sioux. She is so named because she gets along well with all the animals on the property.
His two, one-year-old bison, Billy and Bambi, are somewhat rare for the fact that they have no cattle genetics like many bison today do. He got the pair from Bowser’s veterinarian, Gerald Parsons, who practices in Stratford and raises bison. The Paces got Bowser when he was a ﬁve-pound, eight-week-old cub and bottle fed him for several months after that. Bowser, now ﬁve years old, lives in a large enclosure in their backyard.
They are currently raising money and supplies to expand his area to a full acre, which will include a pond so he can swim. Bowser is now 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 450 pounds. His size doesn’t stop Stan from feeding, brushing and playing with him inside the pen. He said that before he brought Bowser home, he did research on what makes pet bears turn on their owners or accidentally injure people. The most common problem was trying to train the bears to do things and making them do things they didn’t want to do. “It’s like a commitment. Like if I’m going to spend this time with you, then it’s going to be over when you’re ready for it to be over. It’s so much easier,” Stan said. The only thing Stan has trained Bowser to do is to not bite when they are playing, similar to how puppies are trained. They also had Bowser declawed to protect from scratches and to keep him from getting out or having to put in a concrete ﬂoor, which wouldn’t be good for his feet. Stan brushes Bowser in the summer to help him get rid of the excess winter coat on his body. He saves the hair and sends to it someone who spins it into yarn. He braids the yarn with hemp rope and makes bracelets to raise money for Bowser’s new enclosure. Stan said the bracelets are a reminder to be mindful and thankful. The bracelets are now all over the world.
“A lot of what I appreciate is that things are never what they are supposed to be – that’s just not real. That’s just not the truth. Bowser helps me see that. He helps other people see that and that’s why I love sharing him. I see people’s perceptions change.” It had been a childhood dream of Stan’s to own a bear after playing with a cub at a deer farm in Minnesota, so when he heard someone had one for sale, he jumped at the chance. After making space for Bowser and getting the proper licensing from the wildlife department, Bowser became a part of their family and has gotten along well with the Paces’ other animals that get near his pen. Bowser’s diet consists primarily of eggs, high fat and protein dog food, apples and grapes. They also feed Bowser different foods seasonally, such as watermelon, corn, sunﬂower seeds, acorns and hickory nuts. Stan said Bowser’s hibernation period is intermittent. On particularly cold winter weeks, he won’t come out of his den, but on slightly warmer ones, he will venture out and eat a little. His den is an upside down round trough that he has been known to move around on his back like a turtle to see out of the shed in his enclosure. Despite their unique relationship, Stan feels that he and Bowser are supposed to be a part of each other’s lives. “I get all this feedback — ‘wild animals belong in the wild’ — and that’s all that compartmentalizing and labeling that we’re taught. Maybe we belong in the wild.”
Pace completed and delivered this piece. May, 2017.
Watch this video in which Pace quietly walks all the way around the angel. May the experience give you a feeling of peace.
Do you have a question or message for the artist? Please feel free to contact Stanton Pace at firstname.lastname@example.org