QUANAH, TX – A mural honoring the Last Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker, will be unveiled this month in downtown Quanah, Texas. The project, administered by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, pays tribute to the role of Parker in the city’s founding.
A respected Comanche leader, Quanah Parker is often described as having lived between two worlds. He fought against white expansion in the area in the 1870s and later worked to preserve the Comanche legacy and culture in a rapidly changing America.
A nomadic hunter, leader of the Quahada, cattle rancher, and friend of American presidents, Chief Parker, maintained close ties to the City of Quanah. He was an early investor in the Quanah, Acme, and Pacific Railway, established in 1902 as a stop on the Fort Worth and Denver Railway.
“We are honored to facilitate the creation of this mural in downtown Quanah,” said Ann Arnold-Ogden, executive director of the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture. “The piece will be a tribute to Comanche history, culture, and art. This artwork will help tell the community’s story and celebrate the continued contributions and resilience of the Comanche Nation.”
Renowned Comanche Artist Quanah Parker Burgess designed the mural. Burgess is the great-great-grandson of Chief Parker and a 4th generation artist.
“As an artist, it is a great honor to utilize art as a teaching opportunity,” Burgess said. “This mural, to me, represents not only the legacy of my Comanche people but also the heritage we share with the City of Quanah.”
The Quanah Economic Development Corporation (EDC) commissioned the mural as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the downtown area and attract new investment to the city.
“We have seen what art can do to engage citizens, promote heritage and tourism, and beautify downtowns through the previous work of The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture in our region,” said David Sparkman, President of the Quanah EDC. “As our board continues to attract investment and visitors to our community, we are excited to work with the organization to create a mural that captures our history and sets the tone for future development.”
The mural will be located at 305 S. Main in downtown Quanah. A dedication ceremony will be held Saturday, June 11, 2022, at noon as part of the Quanah Parker Medicine Mound Gathering.
This project is in part made possible by the Texas Commission of the Arts.