Senator Charles Ford announced Tuesday that the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. has now formally dedicated two more original paintings. The two latest works were unveiled during a special ceremony in the Senate Chamber.
"With these latest additions, our organization has now commissioned 24 pieces of original art for the Capitol," said Senator Ford, President of the Preservation Fund.
"Like our other pieces, the two latest paintings were created by Oklahoma artists, and present images from our state's past," explained Senator Ford.
Oklahoma City Artist Christopher Nick created a painting commissioned by the Senate Members of the 48th Legislature of George W. Gardenhire, who was the first President of the Territorial Council. Gardenhire also founded Oklahoma A&M College in Stillwater.
Also dedicated during the special ceremony was a painting of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, 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, is a gift of WILLIAMS of Tulsa.