Tulsa Artist Features Black Wall Street On Christmas Ornament Design

Tuesday, November 30th 2021, 3:13 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A local artist is helping raise money for several Green Country charities by selling Christmas ornaments. 

She designs a different Tulsa-themed ornament every year and this year's design is centered on Black Wall Street. Every year since 1986, Tulsa artist Bobbie Whaling has been designing Tulsa-themed, solid brass, 24K gold wash Christmas ornaments. Each ornament has a story and reflects the history of that particular area.

"I went down to Swan Lake and made sketches," said Bobbie. 

She has done it all Council Oak, Gathering Place, Driller Stadium. This year she wanted to create a piece in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre but she wanted to highlight the resilience of Black Wall Street through her design.

"It was LeAnne Taylor who said, 'Why don't you do Black Wall Street?,' " said Bobbie, "There were...grocery stores and hotels...and barbershops. It was just so thriving and then I have a little house on top and a church because they had many churches. You can't get everything in there."

All the profits Bobbie makes from the ornaments through her website will be split between Catholic Charities, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Neighbor for Neighbor, and the Greenwood Cultural Center.

"I thought it was beautiful! I loved it! It is colorful and it depicts the businesses in the historic Greenwood District," said Michelle Burdex with Greenwood Cultural Center. 

Greenwood Cultural Center is selling some of Bobbie's ornaments inside its building as well.

"I think it is important to remember and recognize our history throughout the year and this is a great way to do that," said Burdex. 

For more than 30 years, Bobbie has created her own depictions of historic Tulsa locations- all these art pieces together, create a legacy.

"A little Tulsa treasure that benefits local Tulsa charities. It is a win, win for everybody," said Bobbie.

You can order an ornament HERE

Related Story: Tulsa Artist Talks About Work With Various Charities