Alumni Art Show

Wanda (Cook) Hensley - Class of 1947

June 18 - June 30, 2018

Wanda Cook Hensley school picture from Wewoka Public Schools

The Seminole Nation Museum is honored to exhibit the paintings of Wanda Cook Hensley for its upcoming 2018 WHS Alumni Art Show. Wanda graduated from Wewoka High School on May 20, 1947.  

The exhibit features 25 of Wanda’s paintings including an early work of primitive style folk art, “Bird in Hand.” Wanda’s first oil painting, “Playtime”, will also be on exhibit. Many of the canvases have won prestigious awards - ”Lasting Glory” won amateur Best of Show,  “Proud Eagle” won advanced Best of Show and 1st Place awards went to “A Watchful Eye” and “Springtime.”  For over ten years, Wands has reproduced her paintings as Christmas cards and notecards. Her family and friends cherish lovely replicas.  When asked to choose a favorite painting, Wanda reluctantly answered, “Maybe “Lasting Glory” because the composition of items in the painting mean so much to me.  But, I love “The Great White Pumpkin.”  It is evident that every painting has an intimate history and each object in the paintings has a personal significance.  

Oil painting featuring 48-star flag and ironstone jugs entitled Hensley began working as a senior in high school with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She promised her father she would graduate before getting married, so eleven days after graduation, on June 1, 1947, she married Robert E. Hensley. After a few years of marriage she accepted a job at Seminole County Abstract Co. and then later worked for Bethlehem Steel. Soon she began her lengthy service as a court reporter in Seminole County working for the county attorney (later district attorney) Frank Seay. Wanda continued to work for Seay throughout his career as he eventually became Associate District Judge and then District Judge. She remained at the courthouse as court reporter for Judges Bill Biggers and Lee Stilwell. Wanda retired in 1988.  

Artist Wanda Hensley standing in front of a cabinet of several of her oil paintings on exhibit at the Seminole Nation Museum in Wewoka, OK.During the years as a court reporter, Wanda began painting to relieve stress from the demanding hours and pressures of the job. Wanda taught herself tole painting and moved on to primitive art. In 1993, after many years of self-taught oil painting, Wanda began over twenty-years of painting lessons with noted artist Yvonne Huser. Mrs. Huser was an award-winning artist from Holdenville whose works are part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Wanda continues painting weekly with artist and educator Richard Billingsley. Billingsley, himself a Wewoka High School graduate, taught art at Wewoka and Holdenville schools for many years.

Oil painting of a wooden shore bird set against a woven basket and pieces of BittersweetWanda is very proud of her family’s Wewoka High School alumni heritage. Her husband Robert E. Hensley received his diploma from Wewoka in 1946 after returning from WWII, her son Tommy Hensley was a 1968 graduate of WHS, and daughter Terry Lynn Hensley Clemmer graduated in 1973. Wanda’s five brothers and sisters also graduated from Wewoka High School. 

The Alumni Art Show will run from June 18 through June 30, 2018 at the Seminole Nation Museum, 524 S. Wewoka Ave. in Wewoka. A reception will be held at the museum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 during the annual Wewoka High School alumni reunion weekend. The public is invited. 

For further information, please contact the Seminole Nation Museum at 405-257-5580 or visit our Facebook page:


Alumni Art show reception

June 23, 2018