Entering military service right out of high school in 1979, Beth A. Lockhart spent over four decades working with the United States Department of Defense in various roles. Joining the Oklahoma National Guard, she was initially positioned by her higher-ups to do desk work. However, she was able to convince them to place her elsewhere through her aptitude for mechanics and spent her more than 20-year tenure with the Oklahoma National Guard as an aircraft mechanic for the airborne warning and control system. During this time, Ms. Lockhart was notably recognized as a Mechanic of the Month in the late 1980s.
In 2000, Ms. Lockhart joined the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft avionic systems specialist at Tinker Air Force Base, where she was tasked with working in the base’s depot for the KC-135 Stratotankers. She remained working in this position until her retirement from military service in April 2022. Since then, she has dedicated all of her time and focus to her art business, Dragon’s Lair, which she had run for 30 years alongside her primary career in the armed forces. She notes that, during her military service, she was rarely seen without a sketch pad or book so that she could spend every available moment of free time either drawing or writing.
An accomplished visual artist, Ms. Lockhart’s primary medium is acrylic oil painting, though she also does work in pen and pointillism, and she specializes in medieval fantasy art. Her repertoire includes making and decorating birdhouses; painting skulls, gourds and eggs to resemble fantasy creatures such as dragons; and creating original art prints. In addition to her various social media sites, her work can be found on her website, Dragon’s Lair Art and Gourds. A fixture at a number of local art shows and events as well, she is making her return to in person selling as COVID-19 restrictions lift and is presently working on replenishing her stock to sell at shows throughout the summer. Her first show of 2022 was the Medieval Fair in Norman, Oklahoma, which she has attended annually for many years and is where she first developed a dedicated customer base.
Ms. Lockhart has received tremendous praise for her depictions of dragons and other mythical creatures over the years and she has made a name for herself through the genuine passion she has for her work, regardless of what medium she is using. Above everything, she considers the highlights of her career to be the recognition she has received from other artists at shows along with having a loyal customer base who will actively seek her out. Continually motivated by her love of what she does, Ms. Lockhart is also incredibly grateful for the support she has received from her family over the years, particularly her parents, Donald and Joanne Campo; her brother; and her husband, David.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Lockhart plans to seek out new opportunities for her shows and see where her business takes her. She believes strongly in pushing boundaries and never limiting herself, and also feels it is very important to stay in her lane and mind her own business. In that vein, she emphasizes that if someone doesn’t like what she does, that is their problem not hers. Hoping to leave a legacy as a detail-oriented person who could always be counted on to provide ideas and assistance, Ms. Lockhart intends to enjoy her retirement and to continue cultivating her hobbies of baking, gardening, reading, playing computer games and spending time with animals.