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First Light

by Samuel Hagen

Color photograph
Dimensions: 16 x 24
Gift of the artist in memory of those battling cancer, 2006

First Light by Samuel Hagen

The Artwork

The brilliant pink of the morning sky reflected by the pond adds drama to this color photograph. The white horse contrasts significantly with its environment that is still dark as morning begins. This photograph was taken on the artist's property near Erick, Oklahoma.

The Artist

Samuel "Sam" Hagen was born in Healdsburg, California but moved to Oologah, Oklahoma in 1974. He lived there until his family pulled up roots and moved moved to Erick, Oklahoma, when he was 10 years of age. It was there that he became fascinated by the landscapes of western Oklahoma in his early twenties. It was also about this time that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which led to six months of chemotherapy and thirty days of radiation treatment at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Unable to afford a hotel he stayed in the shelter of a pickup camper shell. When the treatments ended, he returned to Erick, keeping with him a lesson he learned from two hospital social workers which was to set ever increasing goals. He was offered an opportunity to write for the Sayre Journal and was provided a camera to capture pictures to accommodate his articles. He soon received recognition from the newspaper and state press for his photographic work. When the newspaper failed financially, Hagen set new goals and continued work as photographer and artist. Hagen now owns the "One Room Schoolhouse" in Erick. This schoolhouse gallery contains many of Hagen's works and is open to the public.