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Senator Ford Announces Dedication of Two New Original Paintings at the State Capitol

The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. continues to fill the State Capitol with original art depicting important scenes and personalities from Oklahoma history. The latest art to be unveiled will include a portrait of one of Oklahoma Territories first legislative leaders, as well as a painting of Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

"Oklahoma City Artist Christopher Nick has created a wonderful portrait of George W. Gardenhire, who was the first President of the Territorial Council. He is probably best known for establishing Oklahoma A&M College in Stillwater," said Senator Charles Ford, President of the Preservation Fund. The portrait is a gift of the Senate Members of the 48th Legislature.

The second painting being dedicated is of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, painted by Wayne Cooper of Depew Oklahoma. The Tallgrass Prairie once covered 14 states and covered over 142 million acres, but today, less than 10% remains. In 1989, the Nature Conservancy purchased the 29,000 acre Barnard Ranch to serve as the cornerstone of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, which now consists of 38,600 acres of land. The painting, which depicts bison grazing in the preserve, is a gift of the Williams Company of Tulsa.

What: Dedication of portrait of George W. Gardenhire, First President of the Territorial Council (Senate) and the painting of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

When: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Where: Senate Chamber, State Capitol

Contact info
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605