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Chisholm Trail 150


Just Missed These!

Technology of the West: Cowboy Tools of the Trade

June 1 – Aug. 22, 2017

Guests had a chance to discover the history behind cowboy tools, their clothes and other necessary items they needed to do their jobs on the trail. During the Chisholm Trail 150th anniversary year, this exhibit was curated and displayed by our Executive Director, Stacy Cramer Moore. It featured large posters with elements of design from the fashion to the tools that cowboys used. Several pieces of art from the Garis Gallery of the American West collection
corresponded with the posters.

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Apron Strings: Ties to the Past



April 1 – May. 21, 2017

Expanding upon the ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance traveling exhibit, which consists of 51 contemporary and vintage aprons, a dress and five aprons to try-on, dating from the 1900s through present, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center added several pieces to personalize the exhibit for guests who visit the facility. Added were two aprons from the collection of Julie McKinney, a master pie baker and former CTHC board member. Her aprons feature different years of the former event, Western Spirit Celebration. Additionally, new aprons were added, showing the trends of 2017; along with collections featuring vintage kitchen ware, an old wooden ironing board and antique sewing machine. Guests can also add their own memories of aprons on the custom-designed recipe cards and pin them to the clothesline.
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Symbiosis on the Chisholm Trail

Jennifer Cocoma Hustis gets assistance from her husband, Mark, and CTHC volunteer Ron Mulkey (on ladder) while hanging the horse mobile, Birds of a Feather.



Jan. 5 – Feb. 25, 2017

After studying history of the Chisholm Trail, Edmond, OK, artist, Jennifer Cocoma Hustis titled her exhibition, Symbiosis on the Chisholm Trail, to help kick off the 2017 year, which is also the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives. Featuring many new works, along with some of her favorite pieces from recent years, Jennifer’s work is large, bold and thought-provoking. Duncan’s Nancy Litsch is a friend and collector of Jennifer’s work. She connected the Heritage Center with Jennifer and a pairing was made!


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Horsin’ Around: Out of the Vault

August 24 – December 22, 2016

Curated from the Garis collection, this exhibition features 29 rare pieces of art – paintings, sketches and signed lithographs, highlighting the horse. Some of the pieces date to the 1920s by artists such as Tom Lovell and Frank Tenney Johnson or Gene Ware (1949 sketch); and works by famous Oklahomans, Will Sampson and Doc Tate Nevaquaya, while others are by living artists who created the pieces in the late 1960s to 1990s. They were selected from the vault of the Garis Gallery of the American West and have not been on display in at least a decade.

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The Photography of Kelli Brown: of the historic R.A. Brown Ranch

June 1 – August 12, 2016

Dramatic landscapes, cowboys, cowgirls and horses – all part of the everyday life on the historic working ranch of the R.A. Brown Ranch in Throckmorton, Texas – captured through the lens of Kelli Brown. Originally from Nebraska, now a dedicated Texas cowgirl and co-owner with her husband, Donnell, of this ranch, we are excited to welcome Kelli for this summer exhibit. Kelli has studied under western master photographer, the late David Stoecklein. The ranch has also been featured by the Smithsonian. The history of the ranch will also be a part of this exhibit.

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What happens in the shop, stays in the shop


April 11  – May 25, 2016

Woodcarvers Rick Rodgers and Duane Paul, both of Duncan, OK, and Dick McGuire of Claremore, find beauty and inspiration in an uncut piece of wood. They say the wood ‘talks to them’ and guides their tools and knives for the final creation. Walking sticks, flutes, pull-toys, cradles and many more items, including home decor, all crafted from wood, made for a unique show. Larry Gillette, also of Duncan, creates abstract paintings that mimic the grain of wood. His newest works were on display.

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Featured artist is inspired by Oklahoma wildlife, Choctaw heritage

chisholm_trail_heritage_center_dylan_cavin_art-7166Nov. 3, 2015 – Jan. 6, 2016

Bison drawings and paintings dominate Dylan Cavin’s show this holiday season and his work is quickly finding its way into private collections of our members and visitors. Inspiration is found in Oklahoma wildlife, including quails, owls and the Longhorn. When painting people, he focuses on his Choctaw heritage and friends or fashion – for example, the painting of Gabby’s Basket (sold!) features the traditional Choctaw dress.

Dylan’s work was cover art of the July/August 2012 Oklahoma Today magazine. Since then, Dylan’s art has gained popularity across the country.

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Nature shares its songs to local watercolor artistimage4

August 31, 2015 – October 31, 2015

Echoes of nature create a hymnal of inspiration for artist Christen Walden. Watercolor paintings of nests, leaves, birds – or even the intricacy of their wings – reveal the details few people see up close in nature. Details, like the lines and cracks in a dried leaf, or a pebbled bird egg shell, are brought to life through graphite sketching on paper and canvas with the help of a magnifying glass.
Christen resides in rural Oklahoma with her husband, Shawn, and her stepdaughter.

She teaches art appreciation at Cameron University-Duncan. She earned her B.A. in Art from Cameron University in 2003 and her M.F.A. in painting from Texas Woman’s University in 2008. She exhibits her artwork at the Davis and Blevins Gallery in Saint Jo, Texas, owned by Donna Howell-Sickles, known for her vibrant paintings of cowgirls. Donna’s work was exhibited at the Heritage Center in 2009.
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Grand Ole Opry 

June 12, 2015 – Aug. 11, 2015

In the early 1990s, the negative collection of photographer Gordon Gillingham was rediscovered in the Grand Ole Opry’s storage. Thirty of those images were reprinted for this exhibition and highlight the joy of the Opry during 1952-60. Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s staff agrees that this exhibition is definitely a hit. Whether you love country music, photography or recall the “good old days” – this is one exhibit to visit with your friends and family.

ExhibitsUSA is a Mid-America Arts Alliance program.
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Aaron Mallard 

March 23, 2015 – May 25, 2015

Cowboys and cattle stampede into graphic novel world

Every little boy has a dream and for Aaron Mallard, growing up in the Delta region of Arkansas, it was to be a comic book artist. Now a grown man, he’s finally seeing his dream realized and not quite in the way he imagined.

Mallard was commissioned by the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in late 2013 to create a new historically-accurate graphic novel based on the Chisholm Trail.
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Mike Aguirre 

January 5, 2015 – March 13, 2015

Kachina dolls inspire artist to keep carving

During a visit to Santa Fe, N.M., in the 1980s, Mike Aguirre became fascinated with Kachina dolls he saw on exhibit. He began asking questions about their history and how they were created. He has since spent more than 30 years perfecting the craft. While not a Hopi, he respects and admires the culture and historical importance of Kachinas. His exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center was the second one to feature his work, which includes jewelry, knives honed, with blades carved from deer antlers, paintings and wire-crafted scorpions. He lived in Oklahoma for about 20 years, but is now a resident near Wichita, Kansas, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

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mikel-davisonMikel Davison

September 15, 2014 – January 3, 2015

An Okie Reclaims His Roots Through Art

The Alva-born native, now 57, gained his love of history from his father, and his creative inquisitiveness from his mother. But art didn’t put him through school. It was basketball. It’s what paid the bills. (He’s 6’9”) – In recent years though, he’s found a way to do what he loves and manages to combine education, history, sport and art.

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Jason-CytackiJason Cytacki

Western Installation: The Art of Jason Cytacki
An assistant professor of painting at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Cytacki’s work features a unique perspective into the iconic American cowboy. His work is larger than life, but the ideas began with small dioramas. Using GI Joes and scenes from old movies, Cytacki tapped into his creative reserves to shed new light on the cowboy culture. He earned his MFA from the University of Notre Dame in 2011.
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Robert PetersonRobertPeterson

Oklahoma artist Robert Peterson’s art is inspirational. That’s something most artists want, but for Peterson, he is achieving that measure. “I want to inspire people to do better.”

His overnight success is the result of some not-so-great news delivered by a doctor, that was necessary to improve his quality of life. Before he left the Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, he stopped at the gift shop and bought an inexpensive art set.
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ron-tarverRon Tarver

“The Long Ride Home – The African American Experience in America” a photographic exhibition
Award winning photographer and Oklahoma native, Ron Tarver, has spent years documenting the life of the African American cowboy. Tarver wanted to show, through his imagery, that being an African American cowboy meant surviving discrimination, bigotry and prejudice. This exhibit was paired with the Center’s 2013 summer program, “Black Cowboy: Tall Tale or Top Hand.”
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Artist-Kristen-VailsKristen Vails

Oklahoma Artist

Kristen Vails loves horses and her work is indicative of that bond. Latex, acrylic and charcoal bring to life the movement of the horse based on Kristen’s childhood and adult connection.

Raised in Piedmont, Vails is a University of Oklahoma graduate.

Among her achievements, Gallery Coordinator for the Norman Firehouse Art Center and Executive Director of the Plaza District Association in Oklahoma City.
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