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We Belong to the Land

by Jeff Dodd

Commission managed by Oklahoma Arts Council. Funded by private donors.
Dimensions: 132 x 264
Dedicated 1999

We Belong to the Land by Jeff Dodd
Photo by John Jernigan

The Artwork

In 1996, Jeff Dodd was commissioned to create a mural for the Oklahoma State Capitol in celebration of the oil and gas industry. In 1998, he was commissioned to create another mural to highlight the agricultural industry in Oklahoma. It has been said that these commissions brought Dodd back to Oklahoma; the second brought him back to his small-town roots. In these works, the artist returned to the people and landscapes of his childhood and pays tribute to the impact agriculture and the oil and gas industry have had on our state. Today, the works hang over the Senate and House of Representatives chambers.

We Belong to the Land features the contribution agriculture has made to the history of Oklahoma. Dedicated on March 16, 1999, and managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council, numerous agricultural foundations commissioned the large-scale mural. Towards the back of the piece the great seal of Oklahoma shines behind a dusty cowboy rustling cattle. A weary pioneer woman wipes the sweat from her brow as a farmer on the opposite side of the mural plows the rich Oklahoma earth. The mural depicts the evolution of agriculture in Oklahoma from early settler days through history where technological advancements have increased agricultural productivity and contributed to overall economic growth.

The Artist

Jeff Dodd
Jeff Dodd

A native of rural Western Oklahoma, artist Jeff Dodd has been painting realistic portraits and landscapes for nearly 30 years. Drawing since he was a child, Dodd received his formal education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a degree in commercial art. After a brief stint as a student at Wichita State University, Dodd relocated to New York City to study drawing at the Art Students League under noted teacher Tony Ryder. However, it was only after he had moved to Santa Fe in 1991 that Dodd first began painting, stating that his influences came from the art of Rembrandt, Monet, and Francis Bacon.