Altus-Area Graduates of the Leadership Oklahoma Program hosted one of the eight events staged at the Museum of the Western Prairie during the recent Inaugural Exhibition of the Western Trail Art Association. Hosts included (from left to right) David Braddock, Class III; Ann Ackerman of Oklahoma City, LOK Chief Executive Officer; Jennie Buchanan, Class XX; Joe Leverett, Class XXIV; Ellen Yates, Class IV; Rick Henry, Class XXIV; Mark Nichols, Class IX; Glenna Lunday, Class XXV; and Jed Winters, Class XXV. (Not pictured: Brad Bartlett, Class X; Terry Mosley, Class XVII, and Terri Redding, Class XVI.) The event was one of twenty-five events hosted around the state by program graduates in celebration of Leadership Oklahoma’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary. Leadership Oklahoma is an organization designed to create a dynamic network of leaders whose increased awareness and commitment to service energize Oklahomans to shape the state’s future.
The Inaugural Exhibition of the Western Trail Art Association took place at the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus from March 24 to May 25 and has been deemed a great success by its host, the Western Trail Historical Society.
Eight special events were hosted over the course of the exhibition and were attended by over 750 guests. The events included a Preview hosted by Altus-Area Leadership Oklahoma Graduates; a Premiere hosted by the Western Trail Historical Society; tours for the C-17 Spouses, Senior Citizens from Tamarack Assisted Living, the Altus/Ft. Sill Spouses Clubs, and the Retired Educators; a Talk with an Artist program for all of the fifth graders from the Altus Intermediate School, and An Evening of Wine, Music, and Art for Altus Air Force Base Leadership and representatives from the Military Affairs Committee.
In addition, the art work was highlighted during six end-of-school field trips for students from Duke, Quanah, and Blair as well as to the regular visitors to the museum during April and May.
The exhibition featured 115 pieces of original art, including: paintings, photographs, jewelry, welded sculptures, and bronzes, by artists from Del Rio, Texas to Boston, Mass., and from Woodward to Iowa Park, Texas. Several local artists were also a part of the exhibition, including: Sue Messerly and Brian Nichols of Altus and Laurie Thompson of Mangum.
“We believe that hosting the exhibition was good for art and good for the museum,” commented Dennis Vernon, president of the Western Trail Historical Society. “It rare to have the opportunity to view over 100 pieces of original art and to meet the artists. Exhibiting the artwork at the museum also gave people one more reason to visit the museum.” In addition, 15% of the purchase price of all the pieces that were sold went to the historical society to be used in support of the museum.