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Flappy Hour in Central Oklahoma

Between Dallas and Oklahoma City on Interstate 35, a colorful advertising campaign showcases the city of Pauls Valley in south central Oklahoma. Billboards explode with eye-catching statements that promise Pauls Valley is "not your ordinary small town."

High Plains Journal's faithful readers now have one more excuse to visit Pauls Valley--events, Amtrak trip, shopping trips, wine-tasting tours, the Toy & Action Figure Museum--and now, a not so ordinary art gallery has become home of the not so ordinary art of an extraordinary artist.

The magical mosaics of Robin Criss-Praytor are finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. "I have always been intrigued by chaos and broken things," Robin says of her artistic motivation. "They can be beautiful, painful, whimsical and foreboding--sometimes, all in one breath." One most notable for its broad intensity, yet warmth of character is "Comedy, Tragedy & Everything in Between," a panorama of masks depicting the many moods we are capable of expressing.

Criss-Praytor's work speaks of color and contrast, reflections of life--the Humpty-Dumpty theory revealed in its most attractive state. From multi-colored "Mania," to a symphony of black and red in "Red Rhapsody," she weaves the shattered remains of everyday items such as plates, tiles, mirrors, and coffee cups into things appealingly original.

Her most recent piece "Flappy Hour" is causing a huge stir in town. Thousands of reflective pieces meld into a 2 feet x 4 feet pink flamingo with 2-inch eyelashes, painted toes and sushi skeleton in her perfect martini.

Stark Art Gallery is located on Highway 77, the original and still much traveled byway between the two major mid-America metros. Thousands of vehicles catch sight of Flappy Hour in the huge showcase window and quickly find themselves parked and surrounded by some of the best art in Oklahoma. Several other Oklahoma artists compete for attention, including that of gallery owner Kevin Stark, a fine artist, a toy designer, children's book illustrator and the artist/writer of Geezer Comics.

Everything here is "not so ordinary." But from lollipop fantasy to fractured reality, Robin does it especially well and she can be found on-site on the occasional Saturday.

Stark Art Gallery is open Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Wednesday and Sunday, but always open by appointment. Call 405-238-5852 and visit www.starkartgallery.net for more about the gallery and the magical mosaics of Robin Criss-Praytor.

Editor's note: Susen Foster is the owner of Greater Success Advertising. She is the author of numerous travel books. Susen can be reached at www.greatersuccess.com or call 580-622-5408.

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