Regional Artist Spotlight
Texas photographer provides unique perspective on Lookout Point monument
in newest work shown at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
DUNCAN, Okla. — In January 2017, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, began a new program featuring regional artists in the Garis Gallery of the American West.
Selected artists are able to display one to three large works for six to eight weeks. New to the gallery spotlight is an archival photographic print by Dee McMahan, from Wichita Falls, Texas.
McMahan’s 28-inch by 38-inch matted and framed print features the Chisholm Trail Lookout Point at Monument Hill in Addington, OK. McMahan strives to always capture images that have a meaningful story.
“Growing up in rural Arkansas and North Texas, I had a love/hate relationship with living in the country,” McMahan said. While she loved the Texas sunsets and the Arkansas countryside, she wasn’t so fond of the hard work that comes with country living.
After years of living in Houston though, McMahan and her husband, Jerry, were ready to return to the slower-paced country lifestyle, complete with longhorn cattle, horses and watching sunsets from their Texas ranch. It’s also when Dee discovered her passion for photography, specifically, fine art photography. She hopes her images evoke emotion or memories for those who view them.
“This monument was erected on the highest point in Jefferson County, Oklahoma, to honor and remember those who passed through this area,” she said in her Certificate of Authenticity which is also displayed next to the image in the gallery. McMahan shares more of that story in the “Chisholm Trail Lookout Point” COA.
“Many guests visiting the Heritage Center inquire about the monument, and we thought this would be a nice addition for the summer travelers to see. Many of them want directions to the monument,” said Toni Hopper, CTHC Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator. “We hope this encourages travelers to take some extra time to drive there to see it in person. This is the history of our region. Dee has captured a unique view of the Lookout Point monument.”
Jerry said that he was amazed at how much he learned about the Chisholm Trail just by reading the markers on the base of the monument. “It really tells the story and is quite the education.”
The McMahans opened a fine art gallery in Waurika in late 2017, and also a venue in Byers, Texas earlier this year. They restored an old church and kept the original 1920s hymnals and other elements to preserve its history as part of the venue charm. As she travels between home and work in the two communities and connecting states, McMahan is able to capture many unique stories of life along the Chisholm Trail and surrounding areas.
“Millions of longhorns were driven northward across the plains to railheads in Kansas during the period 1867-1889. The great cattle drives not only helped to feed a nation just after the Civil War, they produced one of the nation’s most enduring heroes: the cowboy,” she said.
Her image and statement really connects with our summer exhibits which spotlights cow towns and the history of the railroad in Oklahoma. This is McMahan’s first museum exhibition. She also was an artist in Wichita Falls, Cowboy True juried artist show in April.
McMahan’s work is available to view through Aug. 31. It is $995.00 plus tax. Please call us to inquire.
More information can be found on the Heritage Center’s website, www.onthechisholmtrail.com with links to its social media pages where all events and exhibits are listed as Facebook events.
Visit our Facebook page for information on all of our events.
Previous artists featured in this program: Jennifer Cocomo Hustis, Clay Cole, Pat Dixon, Robert Peterson, Karyn Ortega, Douglas Dillon and Joy Quigley.