It’s a first for Cushing native Annalisa Cahill Campbell, as she returns as one of this year’s Festival in the Park artists. 

Annalisa Cahill Campbell learned all her girlhood lessons in Oklahoma. Spending her childhood and young adult years in Cushing and NW Oklahoma City, she now resides in Piedmont with her husband. Annalisa has four grown children and three grandchildren, all Oklahomans at heart.

Encouraged to develop and explore her artistic gifts as a young girl, she began a life long process of “experimental art”—the experience of using different media in new ways. Annalisa expresses her art by the encouragement of other artists, serving her art community through the Oklahoma Art Guild, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and the Piedmont Library and Cultural Events Society, art camps for young artists, all in addition to her personal work which has been exhibited in many Oklahoma locations.  She is the current president of the Oklahoma Art Guild. Her artwork is represented at the “In Your Eye Gallery” on Paseo in Oklahoma City and “Simply Oklahoma” in Guthrie. She shares studio space at Los Milagros Print Studio on 16th and Villa in OKC.

Her current work often incorporates digital photography into a variety of surfaces and mixtures. She developed this process after her recent opportunities to travel both inside and out of the USA, wanting a way to express those moments of meeting humanity on the streets of her very interesting world. “Whether you travel by car, through the reading of poetry, or by the viewing of art, I hope that the following quote will ring true for you too.”
 “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth.”    Mark Twain
Annalisa was one of seventeen female Oklahoma artists chosen to visually respond to the poetry of Oklahoma poet, Dorothy Alexander. This artwork has been published in Alexander’s “Lessons from an Oklahoma Girlhood” book of poetry. Here is what she wrote about her art piece responding to the poem “Born Scholar”:

“I entered the halls of Wilson Elementary in Cushing, Oklahoma armed with only a brand new box of crayons and a pad of manila paper. My best friend and spokeswoman, I being a shy and pensive girl, was in the hospital having her appendix removed…(I still have my appendix, tonsils and all bones intact. I was always jealous of the lucky kids with scars and casts!) So, alone I sat at my two-seater desk and began a journey of drawing and dreaming in colors I could not explain, and wishing that I would some day illustrate a book. I think ‘Baby Sister’ may have sat in front of me.”

(The photograph used in this piece was taken as I followed this young girl, Alexis, around on the streets of Ghent, Belgium capturing her quiet, inquisitive and full of dreams spirit with my camera.)

Annalisa is the oldest daughter of Richard (now deceased) and Ruth Ann Cahill. The Cahill family lived on East Moses from 1959-1966. Richard and Ruth Ann both worked at the Cushing Hospital. They attended the First Baptist Church, belonged to the Country Club, and developed deep and lasting friendships. Annalisa’s cherished childhood memories always take her back to Cushing.