Lynn finishing St. Francis statue

Kathryn Swan J-C correspondent

Pawhuska Osage artist Michael Lynn is working on the finishing touches of this beautiful rendition of Saint Francis, which is located on Lynn Avenue just north of the Immaculate Conception Church.

Commissioned by Ava Smith, Lynn began the sculpture in February, working on it part time. “Saint Francis of Assisi is Ava’s favorite Saint and is more widely known as the patron saint of animals,” said Lynn. “This particular sculpture features Saint Francis with a white dove, cardinal, gray squirrel, two smaller doves and a blue jay.

“Sculpting is now my second career. I taught myself chainsaw sculpting four years ago after watching YouTube videos. I have loved to sculpt since I was 4-years old when I began making clay sculptures with my brothers. It is my passion and my hobby that I will use for the rest of my life. I hope my art inspires children and adults to be creative and happy.

“When we lost our 16-year old son, Mikey, in 2014, I created a tribute to him in two days. It’s titled Michael (Mikey) Kelly Lynn II (Born April 13, 1998, D. Oct. 18, 2014). This, along with several other pieces, is on display at the Pawhuska Golf Club. Johnny Long commissioned me to create the Coon Huntin’ Boy, an oil derrick and eagle.”

Word quickly spread about Lynn’s unique art. In 2015, he was commissioned to honor former Phillips Petroleum President Kenneth “Boots” Adams with a sculpture that overlooks the Adams Golf Course in Bartlesville. He also crafted Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cyndi Kane’s magnolia tree. Most recently Lynn has been commissioned to do a tree sculpture of prima ballerina Maria Tallchief of Fairfax.

Lynn attended Pawhuska public schools in 1980. He received his associate of arts degreein 1987 from Northern Oklahoma College, bachelor of science in art education in 1991 from Northeastern State University and master’s degree of cducational leadership in 2004 from Southern Nazarene University. He is a member of the Osage Nation, Knights of Columbus and Immaculate Conception Church.

Lynn has spent 28 years as a public school secondary art teacher and teaches seventh through 12th grades for the Pawhuska public schools. He and wife, Tina, reside in Pawhuska with their two granddaughters and sons, Patrick and Dalton.

Lynn is also well known for his paintings, drawings, bronzes and pottery. To view a documentary video of this sculpture and see other examples of his art, visit facebook.com/pages/Michael-Lynn-Tree-Sculptures/.