By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Renowned art scholar and resident of Oklahoma City’s Midtown district, Margaret Flansburg is among those to be honored at the 2016 Chickasaw Hall of Fame ceremony on Tuesday, June 21. The event will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 2501 Conference Drive, in Norman, Oklahoma.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the banquet will begin at 6 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required.
Dr. Margaret McMahan Flansburg resides in Heritage Hills in northwest Oklahoma City.
“As a registered Chickasaw, my mother is being honored for her scholastic contributions in art history and humanities, as well as an artist early in her career,” said her daughter, also an Oklahoma City resident, Sundra Flansburg. “I’m pretty proud of her. Her picture will be on the Wall at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in the beautiful Honor Garden they have there.”
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby will induct the new class of honorees.
Included in the 2016 Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame class are celebrated storyteller Lynn Moroney, Wilmette, Illinois; legacy wrestling duo Floyd Gerald “Gerry” Brisco, Odessa, Florida, and the late Freddie Joe “Jack” Brisco; and esteemed Judge George Dixie Colbert, who died in 1980.
“Each of these worthy individuals have dedicated their life’s work and talents to making a positive impact upon the world in which we live,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “While each of these individuals accomplished unique goals, all share a dedication to excellence which enabled them to accomplish great things.
“It is our privilege to honor these individuals for the significant contributions they have made to the Chickasaw Nation and to the larger community,” Anoatubby added.
After earning a degree in painting from the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Flansburg began exhibiting art in locations such as the Denver and Carnegie Museums, as well as at juried competitions in Iowa, Missouri, and Bristol, England.
She earned a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Renaissance Italian Studies from the University of Oklahoma and served as a full professor in the Department of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for more than 20 years.
Flansburg served as department chair as well as acting assistant dean of the OU College of Liberal Arts. She was also an adjunct art history professor at Oklahoma City University.
Sundra said, “She loved the “puzzle’ of figuring things out and sharing that understanding with her students.”
Upon retirement in 2001, she was awarded emeritus professor status at UCO.
Flansburg served on the KCSC classical radio board of directors and Chamber Music in Oklahoma. She was inducted into the Duncan Public Schools Foundation Hall of Fame is also a board member of Wilson Arts, a foundation that helps a neighborhood public elementary school procure arts programs.
She has been active in the local Chickasaw Council, and when at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, she often visits the Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden where there is a plaque dedicated to her ancestor Colbert Ahshawlatabi Burris.
“Though she has been retired for almost 15 years, she continues to research and publish in her field,” Sundra said. “She has always been aware of and proud of her Chickasaw heritage and family, and has passed along that pride to her children and grandchildren, who continue to be connected with the Chickasaw Nation activities and programs.
“Mom has been the person in my life who role modeled the possibility of balancing family and career – at a time when it was a lot harder to do that,” Sundra continued.
“She was inspirational to me in being the center of our family, yet following her passion and having a life of her own. It’s such a privilege to be living so close to her now, and seeing my daughter, Catalina, also have the opportunity to have a close and important relationship with her.”
In 1987 the Chickasaw Nation began honoring Chickasaws who made significant contributions to Chickasaw people or the Native American community by induction into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Chickasaw citizen by the Chickasaw Nation.