skip navigation

Organizers of the  “Don’t Fence Me In” project for the Wichita Falls Alliance for the Arts and Culture began the process of displaying the more than 1,000 pickets painted by members of the Wichita Falls community.

A frame was taking shape Tuesday as committee workers constructed the sturdy backdrop that will showcase the city’s passion for the arts. Organizers hope the project celebrates creative identity, creative freedom and individuality.

The themes are as varied as the number of pickets collected, such as nods to North Texas and tributes to the local community theaters, hobbies and abstract art. The unveiling will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Nexus Art Park is located in the median between Kell East and Kell West, near the Attebury grain elevator.

The fence, the 2017 summer project for the alliance’s Teaching Artist Learning Lab, will be displayed through the rest of the summer, at least until after Hotter’N Hell Hundred, said TALL master teaching artist Bryson Petersen, who could be seen digging post holes and hammering nails in the Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon heat.

“I’m impressed by the sheer number of pickets we’ve collected,” Petersen said. “When we were in the planning stages, we thought we might get 200. Now we’re pushing 1,100.

“And each one is unique. We have tall ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones, old ones, new ones. And all with different colors and themes. Dr. Seuss would be proud.”

Chance Harmon, also a master teaching artist, said the participants truly grasped the project’s concept.

“The talent in this town is just crazy,” Harmon said. “There are so many good ones – thoughtful. So many people took the theme “Don’t Fence Me In” to heart, and you can almost see their thought process in the picket.”