Mike Larsen

Mike Larsen is a painter and sculptor of history. Researching the people and events he paints and sculpts, he spends much of his studio time in books and on the internet, researching - historical accuracy being as important as his palette. He creates paintings and sculpture commissioned by Governments, Corporations, Universities, and Individuals located throughout the United States.

Mike’s love for painting and sculpting dancing figures began in 1991 when he was commissioned by the State of Oklahoma to paint a 26-foot-long mural for the Capitol Rotunda of five internationally prominent ballet dancers, all born in Oklahoma, all Native American. It is titled "Flight of Spirit". His love of painting Native Peoples comes from his Chickasaw Ancestry in whose "Hall of Fame" he was installed in 2000.

In 2015 Mike was named to the "Oklahoma Hall of Fame". In 2016 he was installed into the "Oklahoma Historian's Hall of Fame". Mike's autobiography "Don't Never be Afraid of Your Horses" was published in the spring of 2017.

From 2000 to 2004, Mike painted eight murals - four about teaching the arts and four about local Native American History - for the Oklahoma Art Institute, located at Quartz Mountain, Oklahoma. That was followed by six murals commissioned by the University of Oklahoma Reynolds Performing Art Center and School of Dance.

2006 brought the United States Postage Stamp for the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial. An image of The Cimarron River about a mile south of Perkins, Oklahoma, was painted with the title "Oh What A Beautiful Morning". Mike's smallest painting to date!

In 2008, Mike completed the two-year project of eight murals for the Pokagon Band Potowatomi Tribe in Michigan.

Perhaps the project closest to his heart is the Chickasaw Nation's Living Elders project - 72 portraits of Elders of the Nation. This commission was begun in 2005 with 24 portraits and has continued with two more groups of Elders. The latest group of portraits were installed at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in the Fall of 2019.

Mike completed a public commission for a twice life-sized sculpture for St. Joseph's Regional Health Center in Patterson, NJ, in 2009. This bronze honors the caregivers and care receivers at the health center.

In the Fall of 2012 Mike completed "The Arrival" for the Chickasaw Cultural Center. It is a nine-foot bronze representing the new start of a Chickasaw multi-generational family after removal from the Homeland. In 2017 he completed another twice life bronze entitled “Victorious” for the Chickasaw Conference Center.

In 2021, Mike was commissioned to create a monumental size bronze of retiring President Burns Hargis to honor his service to Oklahoma State University. The bronze was unveiled on September 9, 2022, and is located on the east side of the Library Lawn.

Mike and Martha were married in 1990 and raised their children in Oklahoma City. As Mike's assistant and collaborator on projects through the years, Martha has brought her background in art, business, and photography to the partnership. Becoming empty nesters, they moved to rural Oklahoma in 2004 where they have their respective studios and always meet on either the front porch or in front of their fireplace at the end of the workday