Broken Arrow Man Brings Unique Art To Retirement Community

A Broken Arrow man is putting his art on the walls for others in his community to enjoy. James Tate is a 96-year-old resident of the Morada Broken Arrow retirement community. His pieces use vintage items to create a train in a hybrid art style.

Monday, May 20th 2024, 9:06 am

By: News On 6, Alyssa Miller


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One man's hobby is bringing joy to an entire retirement community in Broken Arrow.

James Tate, 96, is a resident at Morada Senior Living. He lives by the quote, one man's trash, is another man's treasure.

"I am the type of guy that I hate to throw something away if I might find a use for it sometime," said Tate.

In retirement, he found that use through art. Tate describes his style as a hybrid.

"The reason I call it a hybrid is because I include in my paintings some craft work, for example, I might have a train running up a track or something like that," he said.

Tate collects anything he can find to create his art, filling in the pieces as he goes. "I might start with a coffee can for a steam engine and then pick up something else for the cab," he added.

One of his pieces won First Place and a Sweepstakes award one year in the Competitive Exhibits Adults Division at the Tulsa State Fair. He proudly has it hanging on the wall in his apartment at Morada.

Tate lives there with his wife Marie Tate, 94. The pair celebrated 76 years of marriage this month.

"She has always supported me in it, if I was reasonable," he said.

They brought several of Tate's artwork with them when they moved out of the home they shared for 45 years.

"Sometimes I made so many things that Marie said, I do not need anymore, we do not have any more wall space," he added.

The Tate's had an estate sale where a Morada executive bought two of James' steam engine pieces. Those are now on display in the game room for the entire retirement community to enjoy.

"They seem to enjoy it and sort of encourage me and some of them have asked me if I would sell the items," said Tate.

No longer junk, but a real treasure to be had. A credit Tate gives to God. "I say it this way if it looks good, He helped me. If it is mediocre, I probably did it by myself."

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