WICHITA FALLS – Less than two months after a dedication ceremony, renowned Comanche artist Quanah Parker Burgess has announced the completion of a mural depicting his great-great-grandfather, Quanah Parker, the last Chief of the Commanches.
The project, administered by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, was commissioned by The Quanah Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the downtown area and attract new investment to the city. The mural is located at 305 S. Main in downtown Quanah.
Burgess is the great-great-grandson of Chief Parker and a 4th generation artist. The Alliance’s Art in Public Places Project Manager Ferdine LeBlanc assisted with the installation. However, intensifying Texas heat this summer delayed the completion of the mural.
“I’m not sure if this 100-year-old brick wall won or we did, but I knew it was a challenge,” Burgess said. “My family had a great experience with these good town folks and made friends. It was such a cool experience for my family and myself most of all.”
Currently, 9% of all day travelers in Texas partake in Texas history tourism, and 13% of all overnight travelers participate in Texas history tourism. Shane Lance, Board Secretary of The Quanah Economic Development Corporation Board, said that based on this study performed by the Texas Historical Commission, the QEDC wanted to capitalize on this segment of economic development.
“Having Quanah Parker Burgess, a renowned Comanche artist and great great grandson of Quanah Parker, paint the mural could not have been more perfect,” Lance said. “Quanah Parker Burgess was able to take the QEDC’s vision and perfectly bring it to life to honor Quanah, Texas’ namesake.”
“I hope that my art can bring more commerce to the community. That’s what art should be about.”— Quanah Parker Burgess, Artist & Great-great-grandson of Chief Parker
Previously the Alliance has worked with towns in the region to commission murals and other public art projects. In 2020, the City of Vernon unveiled murals in honor of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist and Vernon native Roy Orbison and local legend and longtime business owner Harvey Dean, who was known as “The Tamale King.”