Fashion, function and art: Artists form special connections to their festival hats

Especially on the artists. Many artists have a special relationship with their favorite festival hats, whether it’s based on practicality, emotions or personal style.

Artist Matt Atkinson, of Oklahoma City, has been traveling the art circuit wearing a black felt cowboy hat for years. He bought his current hat at a store in Stockyard City to replace his former favorite hat, which was incinerated in a studio fire.

“My art studio burned down and I lost all of my art, all of my supplies, including my hat,” he said. His western hat is a perfect complement to his western realism style of painting, as is the grizzly bear claw he wears on a long piece of leather thong around his neck.

“I always wear this hat when I go up to meet with these great American Western people, these cowboys and Indians and craftspeople,” Atkinson said. He is Great Lakes Chippewa.

Each summer, Atkinson

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