Is it really possible for a town to become something it has never been? Can the desires of a towns population with the support of businesses and local leadership change it's future? I have to answer with a resounding YES.
Pawhuska Oklahoma is on the verge of rebuilding itself as one of the 'Art Centers' of Oklahoma and the region. After years of planning and endeavoring to make tourism and the arts the center of it's downtown, Pawhuska is quickly moving towards becoming the 'New Art & Tourism' destination.
Why will this work for this small town nestled in beautiful Osage County, the heart of the Osage Nation? Mostly because Pawhuska believes this is their destiny and is working towards making it happen. As an artist and gallery owner myself, I have never experienced a community more committed to and supportive of the arts in all forms. From the Osage Ballet, which by the way is performing for the Pope this week, to Bronze Horse Foundry, Pawhuska offers an art experience no other town in the region can offer. Our proximity to nationally known museums makes us the center for the arts in Northern Oklahoma. Access to the Tallgrass Prairie and the beauty of the Osage Hills provide a breathtaking backdrop to Pawhuska's rich history.
Last night Tallgrass Art School hosted it's first 'Paint & Sip' class. Fifteen local women came together to paint, share art and experiences and bond as a community. These 15 reaffirmed my own personal belief that yes, we will become a cultural district, we will be a tourism destination and the arts will flourish in Pawhuska.
Recently someone came into the art gallery and remarked "What a great art gallery, too bad it is in Pawhuska". I replied, "What a great town with a great future in the arts...it's an honor to be a part of it".
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery