rally podcast S1 EP06

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The Rally Podcast S1 EP06

[00:00:00] Marissa Raglin: welcome to the rally podcast. I’m Marissa Raglin 

[00:00:14] Josh Vaughn: I’m Josh Vaughn. We are co-founders of Rally. We are all about cultivating community through creativity. In this podcast series, we explore creative communities in the communal landscapes. They foster. Today. We come to you for Studio Six, located in the Paseo Arts District in OKC.

[00:00:29] Marissa Raglin: Welcome to my studio. Today, we’re honored to have Lauren Palmer here with us on the podcast. Lauren is a talented florist and jewelry maker and alongside her two sisters, she is the founder and principal designer of the wild mother, a studio florists located in the heart of the arts district in Oklahoma City.

So Lauren, thank you so much for being here today. We’re thrilled. We were so thrilled to have you, I know from going to school with you that you’re a woman of so many creative talents. So why did you start the Wild Mother

[00:01:00] Lauren Palmer: So the wild mother kind of, kind of felon in our laps, my sister and I. So Leah is our sister.

So the three of us, she and I went to university together at OBU, and we always talked about doing something creatively together. So one iteration looks like having a bookstore and a listening room. Another was, I remember wanting like some sort of music studio where I would teach private lessons. I was teaching piano and guitar all through college.

And I went in to grow that as well. So I don’t know, there were a lots of ideas, but as I was. In, in college, in my dorm rooms and apartments that, you know, I popped, you know, in and out of on campus. And then also in a house that I lived in off campus after I graduated, I always had flowers in, in my spaces.

And I think a lot of my friends recognized that, and we, I don’t know, kind of just grew a name for ourselves, playing with flowers. So there were a few friends that asked if I would do their weddings and the rest is kind of history from there. It, it takes on a whole different life, when you have folks that you don’t know that are calling you and asking for your services.

Yeah. You just kind of have to, like, I know, decide like, is this a business? What should I do with this? So that’s kind of how things started. And then, as we really started to massage the thought of what the wild mother, um, as a studio could be. We knew, you know, as multi-disciplinary artists, that we went in a space that could contain all these things that we loved.

So instead of branding it as a floral studio, we opted for the creative studio title, which has, um, has lived really well. We, yeah, we ended up doing a little bit of everything. We project a lot of floral work, but yeah, it ends up being like a really beautiful incubator for lots of things. 

[00:03:18] Marissa Raglin: That’s beautiful.

My husband got me mother’s day flowers from there and he just said walking into the studio was like an experience. That’s really great. Sweet. 

[00:03:32] Josh Vaughn: I’ve seen some of your arrangements and the ones I’ve seen are just been gorgeous, but there they are, they are kind of wild, but at the same time, the very comforting and balanced, uh, what is your creative process and how do you approach making your arrangements?

[00:03:48] Lauren Palmer: I think, well, it kind of depends on the project, but something that I am always really emphatic about is allowing my materials to tell me what they need from me versus me trying to force them to be something that they’re not. So I’ll give you an example. There’s a springtime bloom that, you know, we probably see a lot around here and then probably will for the next month or so it’s called Spirea. It um, it droops and it hangs and the blooms are really heavy on the stem. And as you know, the winds, you know, whip set and the rain beats down on it, it kind of like creates a, uh, a new, a new shape, you know, as the days goes days, go on.

So when I, you know, receives Spirea in my studio, I want to be sure that I am honoring the shape that it, that it took on its bush. So with Spirea or roses or sweet pea instead of like cramming them all in one vessel, I want to make sure that they, that I’m honoring. Yeah. The. The way that they came to me.

So that’s a huge part of our process. And the other thing, practically speaking, we draft sketches a lot and send them to our clients, just giving them a taste of what they’re investing in. Um, and. I, I think that that has been really helpful over the past couple of years, as we are doing like larger, more site-specific installations.

It’s, it’s easy to sort of talk in this like dream space with my sisters about the work that we’re going to do in a space, but we kind of like work telepathically the three of us. So inviting other people into those, like those visions and those dreams of what. Going to create it’s it’s much easier just to like sketch it out.

So yeah, it, it’s, it’s very humbling to see something that started in my sketchbook be in like a full scale installation somewhere and, and living in blooming and like brimming over it’s it’s a, it’s a really fun process. So I think. Yeah. That’s, those are a couple of things that, you know, take life in the, in the process.

[00:06:08] Josh Vaughn: I was looking at this one, you made one for a church recently. I think it’s for their Easter thing. It was great, but there’s so many different dimensions to it, but there was an archway, there were several different arrangements, there was some other structures and stuff. Did you have to work around those structures or did you come up with the concept for the whole space or what was that was phenomenal.

[00:06:30] Lauren Palmer: Yeah. So the, the creative team called us and asked if we could even build a live garden for this, this production. And we knew that we could, we were just curious, like who would be, who would we work with? And so anyway, we got to work with Shiloh Thaxton, who is, um, a stage designer or set designer. He built basically like the bones or the skeleton of the whole thing.

Yeah. And then we went in and mossed the heck out of it. And so yeah, like laid the foundation and then on top of that, built the bushes and built the, the little pods of flowers and then the water feature that was in it. So yeah, the, the bones were built and then we went in and did, did our thing. We went on, you know, site visits and things like that.

And, you know, there were some of the, the dreams like took shape there as we were, you know, in this space with Shiloh. But yeah, that was a really cool project for us. We’re very thrilled to be able to work in, in set design. So. That has been really fun for us recently doing these like larger scale projects and yeah.

And then all of them, like the legwork that it takes to make that stuff happen. It just, um, refines me as a, as a designer. 

[00:07:55] Josh Vaughn: Definitely. 

It was seamless. It looked like you and your sisters had started from scratch and had the idea design. So they all did a great job on that. 

[00:08:05] Marissa Raglin: I am curious what it’s like to work with your two sisters in what the, how the roles overlap.

[00:08:10] Lauren Palmer: Yeah, that’s a good question. So we are sisters first and that such a sacred relationship there, you know, even without business, there are, there are dynamics there to nurture and to manage. So. We tend to layer on top of that sisterhood dynamic business. And we, we never want to allow business. And those dynamics is sort of overshadow like the foundation, which is that sacred relationship as sisters.

Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s special. It’s, it’s something that we really want to protect. So practically speaking, I’m principal designer. So a lot of the aesthetics that you see come from my sketch pad and, or, you know, Lee or Cali will, you know, share something. Um, at the, at the table, we meet weekly and talk through a lot of like the projects that are coming up.

They might, you know, bring something to the table and. And we’ll, you know, process it and massage it and figure out how we can make it happen. Leah is our lead storyteller. So a lot of what you see in terms of the narrative arc of our work is very much in her and her sphere. So I think. Is, she was born for that work or in to be a, like a, a story keeper.

She’s also just a heck of a wordsmith. So we lean really heavily on her ability to not just understand story, but to project it really well. And then Callie is just, she, she does a lot of our operations. Callie is the only one of us that is that pursued, um, business in school, at university. So we lean really heavily on Callie and the way that her mind meticulously thinks through our operations.

So it’s quite a team. Like any, any person, our studio evolves right alongside of us as women. So in some areas of our studio, we lean more heavily on the storytelling and then I’m in others really heavily on the floral. So it kind of depends, but yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a delicate dance for sure. 

[00:10:38] Marissa Raglin: You mentioned that the space is a creative studio and another incredible offering that the wild mother provides to the community are DEIA resources and workshops. Can you share how this came about and what one could expect signing up for a workshop? 

[00:10:55] Lauren Palmer: Sure. So, right around June of 2020, we started getting a lot of DMs and emails about how we would suggest going about building brands that are, um, that take on anti-racist rhythms.

And we try to keep up as best as we could with tending to those questions there. I mean, it’s a very, very important subject. And so anyway, but we saw this need through this pattern of like, it was, it was like maybe six to 10, like very typical questions that we were getting. We decided to build a, a resource for people who are wanting to build affirming equitable and just brands, um, specifically for the creative.

Um, I realized that a lot of us don’t seek out resources that speak to creating anti-racist rhythms in our brands. The way that some of our friends that are in the corporate sector are just sort of like expected to go through that type of professional development. So anyway, we built this, this offering called lay of the land and it goes through six movements.

The first asks that participant to go through their origin story. And then we sort of meander into the practical applications of building affirming equitable and just brands and how to do that in a sustainable way. How to do that in a way that doesn’t prop up any sort of shame for the person that is participating in this program or in this workshop.

But we ask people to sort of look at the, the materials that they have in hand. What, what can they do with what they have to, to create more equity in the creative space? So it’s been really, really interesting to engage people. And in our community, artists have an incredible power and incredible responsibility with what we’ve been given as, as storytellers.

And it’s been really amazing to see how people are tapping into. And using those tools. 

[00:13:28] Josh Vaughn: That’s very cool. That’s very, very much needed as well. And I didn’t even think about that because I, I have to spend a majority of my day in the corporate world and you do have those things and I’ve never heard of anything like that you know, for the artists, for, for others outside of that, that’s, that’s very thoughtful. So I appreciate that. 

[00:13:51] Lauren Palmer: I think it is, it is, my one of our offerings that I’m most proud of. I think also for artists, this, this tends to be just like important for me, at least the workbook that we created is just like really beautiful.

And we used photos that I inherited from our great-grandmother, um, as these like nods to the land and yeah, like giving. I don’t know, like wanting to use symbol symbolism as a way to, to teach, you know, beyond the words on the page. You know, we, we used her photographs and I don’t know. It’s just really special 

[00:14:34] Josh Vaughn: Mother’s day is coming up. Uh, can you describe to us what the weeks leading up to this day might look like at the shop and where our listeners can learn more about any special offerings? 

[00:14:43] Lauren Palmer: Typically, we start planning for mother’s day, right after Valentine’s day. So just, you know, sketching plans for what that’ll look like. We want to be really intentional about the materials that we bring in for our customers.

We know that like I was, I was saying earlier, symbolism is really important. So the colors that we use and the, the flower types we use in that you know, telling a story. So we will start working with our farmers and wholesalers to book the products that we want to bring in. And then, you know, it’s a process of just advertising and making sure people know that what we have available is ready for pre-order. We sell a lot of pre-orders on our website. So it’s the wild mother.com and it’s really, it’s really sweet, sometimes we’ll have a field in the ordering page where people can like add their little sentiment and, you know, we get to hand write it on a, on a card. And it’s, I don’t know those, those interactions with our community or just like heartwarming, you know, we love Valentine’s day and we love mother’s day just because everyone’s like loving on their people. And yeah, it’s really sweet. This mother’s day is going to look a little different. We’re not doing a typical, pre-sale like years past because we’ll be taking on work for an initiative called Send Flowers To.

And that falls on Mother’s day weekend. So yeah, we’re doing a little. We’re doing things a little differently this year, Send Flower To is an initiative, that we felt really compelled toward. Um, so last year we were hearing all of the buzz and all of the, all of the storytelling around Greenwood massacre in Tulsa and we knew that, um, flowers are this incredible tool to communicate sentiment. And a lot of times flowers are one of the main tools used to memorialize people who’ve passed. So we wanted to be a part of the commemorative events in Tulsa, and we decided to send flowers to Greenwood. So, um, yeah. It was beautiful.

We told some friends and the floral industry, which is actually the a tight-knit industry across Turtle Island. So in Canada and in the United States. So anyway, we reached out to some of our friends and said, Hey, do you think this would work? Do you think that you would like to come and join us here in Tulsa?

So fast forward through this story, and we ended up in Tulsa in May installing these large-scale installations as memorial to the folks that were. Massacred there on Greenwood. We had about 30 force on the ground with us that flew in from all over. So there were people there, there was a designer from Georgia designers from Detroit, Vancouver, Seattle, Houston, Austin.

They all came and joined us in Tulsa to install these, these memorials. And, the way that we were able to interact with descendants of, um, this, these crimes, it was just like nothing like I’d ever experienced. It was very special. And I don’t know, I got to see in real time how art is truly medicine. How poignant art is in spaces where healing has not yet taken like full hold over community.

So I, yeah, I’m, I’m really proud of the forest that draft what they were doing in the middle of wedding season and came to help us send flowers to Greenway. And so this year we’re sending flowers to missing and murdered indigenous women. So Leah, Callie, and I, this one is very, very tender for us as indigenous women.

We fall in, in the middle of a statistic that is pretty threatening to how our daily lives. As a matter of fact, Um, this crisis has touched our family. We have an aunt who was murdered in California in the nineties, and I don’t now, it’s, it’s interesting how hidden this crisis is. Um, so essentially the crisis sprung up upon Western contact began with a Wampanoag and then, you know, of course like you can imagine, you know, just spread across Turlte Island.

[00:19:36] Josh Vaughn: There’s one thing that I think would help people as they’re listening to this. Can you explain a little bit about Turtle Island? 

[00:19:42] Lauren Palmer: Sure. Yeah. So turtle island is a, a term for North America, so it contains all of Canada and the. It’s a, a common inter-tribal way of referring to North America.

So you’ll see a lot of symbolism of, you know, a turtle. Um, a lot of times you’ll see turtles on medallions and things like that. Like beat it on medallions. And, you know, in our, the insidious thing is there are opportunities for policy change. Opportunities for more attentiveness from the offices of like the department of justice and the FBI to protect indigenous relatives.

And I should say, when I say women, we mean women, girls, non-binary ,trans, fem, two-spirit relatives that we say MMIW because the movement began in Canada as MMIW but it is, you know, since expanded, it’s a very, like I said, a very tender outpouring for us send flowers. And my work is in collaboration with the First American’s Museum in Oklahoma City and several MMIW chapter leaders.

So those installations will be open to view for free May 7th through the ninth, their hours are 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, so that floral art will be installed and you can go through and see what we’ve been up to. Every bit of the sunflowers to project is crowdfunded. Um, and we act as independent agents last year.

90% of our, our funding came from really small donations, $5 here, $20 there. If listeners are interested in contributing to this public art, this community care, you can visit the wildmother.com/sendflowersto to learn more about the project, what our intentions are and then how you can participate, whether it’s volunteering on the day of, or donating a bit of your hard-earned cash toward this, yeah, this art initiative. 

[00:22:02] Josh Vaughn: That’s very cool. And I was, it seems like in everything that you’ll do, you’ll have overlaps of several communities and that’s a gift to be able to do that, to be able to flow in and out and be a common denominator for a lot of people and their communal experience. Forming this community of your own, that’s all these communities interjected into that. And that’s really cool that that’s something special. 

[00:22:26] Lauren Palmer: It’s yeah, it’s it is, it does feel very special. The girls and I talk about a lot, just the opportunity that we have as, um, we live very like intersectional lives as Afro- indigenous Afro-Latino women.

The, the communities that, you know, we were born into, we get to like platform the stories from those communities, for the mainstream. And as we, you know, We get to work alongside of clients and artists and other creatives who are just curious. I think that we might even, you know, through our work might even give people permission to ask questions that maybe they feel are like silly or maybe, you know, they’ve always wondered or, you know, I think that art is a really good vehicle toward right like conversation, right.

[00:23:20] Josh Vaughn: Whether it’s creating a safe space or it’s, it’s smashing the safe space, it creates an environment to be able to talk and be able to listen and have a conversation. 

[00:23:31] Lauren Palmer: Yeah, totally. 

[00:23:33] Marissa Raglin: Everything in the Wild Mother that I see, even from the design to these initiatives, to your actual process and creative process, it’s just incredibly inviting. I find that to be at the forefront of everything. And could you maybe explain the two different Instagrams that you all manage? And I know we had talked about art as medicine. 

[00:23:54] Lauren Palmer: Yeah. So we have two different containers for our work. So the @thewildmother, the first handle, it kind of contains it all, but more of the floral in, in, and marketing, like opportunities that we take to share with people, what we do and how you can get ahold of us.

We love even, you know, on that handle, that first handle, we love communicating with other artists. I think it’s also really important in our industry. It, sometimes it feels a bit lonely as a black and indigenous and, um, Mexican artists. And that feeling is backed up with, or by the hard data. 1.6% of florists on Turtle Island are black, 0.5% are native or indigenous. And I think 12% are Mexican. And I think that those numbers. Tell me all I need to know about why it does feel a bit lonely. So being able to communicate with other black and brown florists through Instagram has been really sunshine, I guess like it’s it’s light and it has felt a lot, like a bit of burden has been lifted.

Um, when you know that there are other others out there, like you. Right. And yeah, the second handle is where we share a lot of our educational resources and we like to help people sort of process like bite pieces of lay of the land. So what it might be like to engage that offering that’s we do that there. 

[00:25:32] Marissa Raglin: And that’s @thewildmother.medicine

[00:25:34] Lauren Palmer: yeah. Yeah. So those are the two and then. You know, we like to have, have fun, like on our personal Instagrams and you know, other like our initiatives that we have just like separately from the wild mother, but yeah. 

[00:25:49] Josh Vaughn: We’ve heard your music background, your floral expertise, and we’ve also seen your bead work. Do you have a preferred medium and why? 

[00:25:56] Lauren Palmer: That’s a really tough question. I find myself being kind of cocooned in to specific mediums, like when I need them. So the floral design that I do that work is so tactile, it means that I get to engage these like living materials. It is. It’s like nothing else. 

And then music, I’m a singer and I’m also an instrumentalist. So I use my hands. I use my voice. I use my breath always. And it’s just another experience with beadwork. I am doing like such meticulous work. It causes me to have to turn off my brain for a moment. And it’s, it’s also really beautiful. Like, I, I will put beads on a needle, like thread them on the thread and then it’s thread in, thread it out, thread in, thread out.

And that process is super soothing and yeah, I think that I go to each one of them at like times when I need them. And, they all, I don’t know. I can’t choose one. It’s kind of like asking someone to choose like who their favorite dog is or who their favorite baby is, you know, child. But yeah. 

[00:27:18] Josh Vaughn: So whenever you are beading or working with your flower works what music’s playing? I love music.

[00:27:26] Lauren Palmer: Me, too. Too. Yeah. Okay. So on a, on a typical let’s see. Oh man, I love, um, I love opera. I love Barbara Hendricks and Jessye Norman, like in the opera world. They’re like the mothers of like all that’s great. And then I love there’s an artist called Sona Jobarteh. She’s a, uh, like a Gambian kora player. And. Her music is like, it’ll like transport you.

It’s just so beautiful. I also enjoy, I mean, you might pop into the studio and we’re like listening to like pow wow hit after pow wow hit. That’s really fun. We listen to Journey, a lot. And we listened to we’re on a big, oh, we’re on a big Yebba kick lately. She’s incredible. Yeah. We like Jay-Z. I don’t know. Like it’s, we’re, we’re all over the place.

Yeah. Listen to a lot of like, um, mariachi music. Yeah. 

[00:28:31] Marissa Raglin: Awesome. What is your origin story at? What inflection point did you identify as an artist and how did that make you feel and how did that change the way you approach the world?

[00:28:43] Lauren Palmer: Yeah. So, I believe that my origins predate my birth. So there are a lot of people and a lot of places that had to be before I could be. To tell my origin story, I, I have to mention like, Madagascar and Gambia and, and Nigeria. Because of these places, like I know the water. And I have to speak of Nanih Waiya, I, I came from the womb of the Nanih Waiya, in Mississippi, and that’s an origin place. I have to mention Mexico. I know Hills and mountains because of, of Mexico. 

And then most recently, or in the most recent, I come from Jethro and Mary Jane and James Hampton and, um, Lizzy L Nora and Callie Bell and Callie Bell and Marth Ann, and my parents Trey and Brenda.. I think those people are really, they had to be for, for me to, you know, be like born into this world and then. There, there are places that, or like my first mother, so Tennessee and Texas, and obviously Oklahoma via migration here, removal and then migration here.

I know that like blood memory is so strong. And so I know these places, I feel, I feel like born into them even though I was like born in Oklahoma county, you know, but my, my origin story, it continues to evolve. I think I find myself being like born again and again and again, and every time I do or every time I am brought into like who I am, and really that looks like era after era.

I become more Lauren. Yeah. Upon being born again. I like see more clearly. I hear more vividly. I understand deeper. I think to your question about being an artist. I don’t know if there was like a, a moment where I, I knew. I think I just, all I remember is that I just was. You know, and so my earliest memories are in like music theory, classes and piano lessons and going weekly to storytellers.

And I think like in those moments, in my life, and then as era’s like came and went, I found myself. Yeah. Especially as an adult, um, I found myself like recommitting to like being a creative. Recommitting to like emulating creator and taking on the like very sacred work of like using materials to create something that like as a vehicle towards something else. Like communicating something that like that’s that’s special or that whether it’s special for me ,just me or special for an entire community. I know. I think I could sit and really impact that one for awhile. Yeah. 

[00:31:52] Marissa Raglin: Did you want to be an artist then as a young person? 

[00:31:55] Lauren Palmer: No, actually, I remember having these like wild dreams about being an archeologist and yeah, I like collected rocks and I was fascinated by clay. And I think that, yeah, I remember there is like a father’s day event that my dad took, um, myself and Leah too. I think we were the only two kids. I’m one of five kids. And he took us to this thing where we had to like harvest clay and they make like bowls out of them. And I remember feeling like, so at home in that, like that little river bed. 

Yeah, I didn’t want to be an artist. I don’t remember that. I think I felt like I am what I am or who I am, and wouldn’t it be cool to play with rocks, you know? Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:32:46] Marissa Raglin: Oh gosh. I had the largest, uh, rock collection as a kid. Yeah. When I got married, it was like still underneath my bed. Nathan was like, you shouldn’t bring that with us. I still brought like a very small, I still have it. 

[00:33:03] Josh Vaughn: My wife saw has a couple of large boxes full of rocks in my dark room 

[00:33:10] Marissa Raglin: Each one has a memory. 

[00:33:12] Josh Vaughn: So what’s your biggest challenge as a creative today? 

[00:33:15] Lauren Palmer: Hmm.

I think the, this sounds so cliche, but I always feel like there’s not enough funding. And I, I find myself not wanting to compromise my, like my central tenants of like what it means for me to be an artist, just so that I can, you know, be platformed and propelled forward by someone’s money. It, I don’t know.

It it’s a, it’s a, it’s a interesting dance that I find that those of us in the creative community have to, you know, take on, but. Yeah. I, I think that the lack of funding, and then also just in this, it feels like in my experience that struggle goes hand in hand with this need, this pesky need of having to prove that my expertise and, you know, the expertise that has grown to what it is in the past 10 years of my work, it being worth someone’s money. Maybe not like. You know, by way of a grant, but we have clients that come to us and I feel like I spend more time with clients trying to convince them that, that my, my work is worth as much as my counterparts work. And that’s really uncomfortable. I think I spend more time doing that versus talking through like my sketches or what I, what I envisioned for their space or, you know, their event. So that tends to be really uncomfortable. And I am not sure that that will ever change. I th I have, you know, there have been clients in Oklahoma City who have, have been very explicit in saying that they. Ha, they feel like they can get a cheaper product from me and my sisters versus, you know, a more mainstream designer.

And I don’t know that. Sometimes it makes, it makes me want to do something that’s like a little easier, you know. But then, you know, as I think through that, I realized like, oh, that would be such a betrayal of myself. And what I know is innate in me, like what would I, I would, yeah, I would, I would be turning my back on something that I, I, it’s not like just turning off a faucet 

[00:35:53] Josh Vaughn: There’s a principle behind it.

Yeah. Yeah. Plenty. And I. Yeah, I think that’s the biggest struggle right now, trying to try to do that dance and play, you know, play, play nice in, in systems that are just like widely inequitable. I find that a lot of people theorize, you know, from their armchairs about like what and why, why that is. But meanwhile, there are artists that are just like me that are, that have talent that deserves to be funded and in partnered with, and yeah, we’re hustling, you know, there there’s a scrappiness that like is not innate in my personality. That I think artists in general just like have to have to apply themselves or, or resign themselves to just accept having to be scrappy.

But I don’t know. I. You can probably just tell, like, I’m, I feel like a little conflicted in that space, you know? Sure. Which is why it presents itself as a struggle. 

[00:37:00] Marissa Raglin: Where would you like to see the Oklahoma City creative community in five years? 

[00:37:06] Lauren Palmer: Well, I man, five years. Is a blink of an eye. I think the Oklahoma City art community has a responsibility to evaluate the structures of prominent, like institutions that end up sort of like propping up in, um, platforming artists.

 I’m always curious about boards of directors, what they look like and, um, how, like how eclectic they are. Um, I think there’s a lot of room for growth there. I think that Oklahoma City could use more public art. Yes. I love the public art that you know, is it’s on our walls and, you know, by way of murals and things like that.

But I think there, there is more invention that’s probably just hiding under our noses and I think it takes, I think it takes a community’s belief in artists to see more public art. So I also think that Oklahoma City and probably just Oklahoma at-large. I think that as a community, we can do better about supporting art in public schools. I am a product of Oklahoma City public schools, and that’s where I learned to play the violin. And that’s where I learned to play the harp. That’s where I learned how to conduct myself like working alongside of colleagues in the academy. So think that we can like, as a community, take our in public schools much more seriously.

I remember. So I went to class and I say, yes, There were, there was a need for more instruments. You know, when we were there for students that couldn’t afford to rent an instrument. I was privileged to have grandparents that provided like an instrument. Like they, they rented me and insert for a while. And then when I was about to turn 16, there’s this like question?

Like, do you want a car or do you want a violin? Like we can upgrade you. And I decided. I want my violin. I can figure out how to, you know, get around. I received so many gifts that way, that there were a lot of my peers that didn’t have. Yeah. It didn’t have those resources. I do not think that there should be such great barriers of entry to the art community.

I think it’s ridiculous. And I think that the fact that arts is a by-product of like us just emulating creator in the first place. I think that like the fact that, that there are such barriers of entry it’s, it’s telling it’s its signals to a lot of inequities and um, injustices, like in that like sphere of community, um, that like mirror, like several other like spheres of community. Those are. Just like my thoughts. 

[00:40:08] Josh Vaughn: And I think that, I think that also you’re, you’re touching on the fact that was now devalued something that like, I believe that everybody’s creative do believe everybody’s, you know, they’re born to create, they’re born to be creative, but we’ve so devalued that and commoditized that now we have to turn around, artists have to be advocates for themselves and each other to champion something we should naturally be doing.

And this is kind of like that’s some screwed-up priorities. 

[00:40:40] Lauren Palmer: Yeah. Yeah. It really is. Yeah. And it I’ve seen this and I’ve seen it be maddening to artists. The fact that like, I think storytelling just, just storytelling in general, just lean so heavily on. The artist. Um, and yet the artist has to beg for any sort of compensation or just belief that like, what we do is as valuable as another professional, there are a lot of things that are, that feels so glaring to me.

And if I. I told my sisters a lot, like I’m super young and I have a lot more life to live in the city. I’m eighth-generation Oklahoman and yeah. And, um, that’s as far back as we can trace, um, but. Knowing that there’s probably like, there were probably ancestors here before that. Um, I don’t, I don’t have any sort of desire to sort of like divest away from like Oklahoma.

There are a lot of thoughts that I, you know, like that percolate in my head and I think, okay, like, I’ll sit on that. I don’t want to commit to a thought and like offend people, you know, like there, there are things around like how to prop up artists that. I don’t know, like I’m, I’m ready to rattle some roots, but I’m not really sure if like we’re there quite yet in our community.

Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:42:15] Josh Vaughn: Well, I think establishing the environment that you have and the, the tamber of the conversation, everything builds a relationship with people whenever you’re in relationship people, that’s whenever you can have those conversations. If you don’t have relationship with people and you just start telling them, oh, well, you’re wrong.

That’s not, you know, sometimes I need that. If you’re wanting to make really long, deep-rooted change, that relationship has to be there. And I think you’ve done a great job of, of doing that. 

[00:42:46] Marissa Raglin: I’m also regretting that we didn’t invite her to bring her harp or violin. 

[00:42:51] Josh Vaughn: I know next time when we 

[00:42:53] Marissa Raglin: Is it in your car?

[00:42:55] Lauren Palmer: No.

[00:42:57] Josh Vaughn: Do you have your kora in your purse?

[00:42:59] Lauren Palmer: No. 

[00:43:01] Josh Vaughn: Next time when we have all three of them. On the podcast, that will be fun. 

One of our go-to questions revolves around something we’re both very passionate about, and that is the cultivation of community through creativity, what does that look like to you? 

[00:43:16] Lauren Palmer: Yeah, I, I think that.

I heard you say earlier that we all are innately creative. And I agree with that. I think that we, as, as children have to be encouraged to explore that and to try to understand what that means tapping into, you know, those skills or those gifts. So I think it’s beautiful if, if we’re, if we hold that as a belief that we are all creative, I think that that puts us at like a leveling, uh, or that levels us a little bit. And, we can start to use our mediums as a way to, to relate to each other, to connect with each other and to, yeah. And to, to choose, to listen and choose, understand, and choose to believe each other. I, yeah, I think that art is, it almost feels like a can otherworldly tool that we get to just engage here, like on land, you know. Art’s just being what it is, it can’t do anything but cultivate community, you know? So I think that we have found that in our work, like I was mentioning the Send Flowers to Greenwood campaign last year, the fact that we were. We were appealing to floral designers all over the world.

Not only did we ask people to potentially join us in Tulsa, but we invited people to, um, To take part in our virtual outpouring. So whatever medium you, we asked people to create pieces that could be dedicated to, um, Greenwood. So there were people, um, all over the world that were, um, using our hashtag and sent emailing us and sending us, um, photos of their work.

Um, and yeah, it’s. Yeah. Using using that mantra, um, art as medicine, um, it, I was just blown away and just felt so assembled, like to be leading that charge in that moment, you know, it just, it felt surreal. And I. It was so delicate. Um, yeah. I’ve I have seen firsthand how art as medicine, rallies people, um, it like, it’s like this beautiful leveling and then there’s like all this growth that happens, um, out of it.

So, yeah, that’s really cool. 

[00:46:00] Marissa Raglin: Who are three local creatives that inspire you?

[00:46:05] Lauren Palmer: I would say I am inspired by Jordan Cocker. She’s a Kiowa and Tongan museum curator. She is. I could sit and listen to Jordan, talk for hours. I always walk away from conversations with her just so inspired. So Jordan is the one on my list. 

And I think another is Brita Newton-Tarron.

She’s one of my best friends. And she inspires me because she is able to, she holds so much like the clients that she works for and the campaigns that she directs are. I mean, we see them in magazines and. Um, yeah, like she’s, she’s, she’s very quiet and very humble about what she does, but her work lives on like a national and sometimes international scale.

And, um, I love being able to not only see how her art like translates. You know, in print, but, or, you know, on a screen or whatever, but I also love getting to see how she she’s also like a mom. She has two twin two-year-olds. Yeah. And, um, they are. I don’t know, they’re just, they are so sweet and so in love with her and the fact that she’s able to hold so much is really inspiring to me.

So, and she’s also kind of a like accountability figure in my life. So. Yeah. She’s um, yeah, Britta is inspiring. 

I think also another is Sterling Harjo. He is very, I don’t know. I love, I love that he is approachable and the fact that he is not like in a position of like decolonizing his art. He indigenizing is his art.

So he’s making his art for our indigenous community and, and it translates. I watched, um, Reservation Dogs, and there were so many references. I was like, oh my gosh, this is on TV? It’s just so homey, you know? Um, so yeah, I, I love how he’s taking on representation in a way that’s just, just so like warm.

[00:48:42] Marissa Raglin: We’d like to thank Lauren Palmer for sharing your time with us.

You can follow along with Lauren in the wild mother on Instagram, @thewildmother and @thewildmother.medicine and check out their website, www.thewildmother.com. Find this information and much more in our show notes for this episode at our website, www.rallyokc.com

[00:49:03] Josh Vaughn: And of course we want to thank our audience for listening.

Please like subscribe and share this podcast if you enjoyed it. You can follow us on Instagram @rally.up.okc. We’ll be joining you again soon. Cheers.