Big Rain Gallery hosted The Gallery Experience on Dec. 5 featuring
artworks by Pawhuska students, Osage and schoolteacher artists.
The fundraiser event is in support of the Pawhuska Public
School Teachers. Benny Polacca - Osage News
In its second year, The Gallery Experience art-driven fundraiser topped
its inaugural year's collection by $9,000 with a total of more than
$11,000 raised from art purchases and live auction bids at the Dec.
Osage artist Addie Roanhorse hosted The Gallery Experience fundraiser
in support of Pawhuska Public School teachers at her Big Rain Gallery
in downtown Pawhuska for the second year in a row. The Gallery Experience
received a sponsorship from Osage Casino, which helped pay for costs
associated with the event.
"We raised over $11,000 tonight at the auction," Roanhorse said
on her Instagram page. "I'm so proud and thankful for the artists
involved." She also sits on Pawhuska's Board of Education after
winning a five-year term in the school board election in early 2019.
This year, participating Osage artists included Yatika Fields,
Alexandra Ponca Stock, Roxanne RedCorn, Skyler Ammons, Roanhorse
and her brother Dante Biss-Grayson.
The Gallery Experience featured paintings on 12" x 12" canvases
with many painted by Pawhuska school students, as well as school
teachers, local community members and Osage artists who donated
their works for the fundraiser featuring several paintings on display
for sale or up for auction bid.
Scores of local Pawhuska and Osage community members attended the
event with purchases made before the auction started. Cody and Lauren
Garnett, owner/ operators of the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum in Pawhuska,
provided their auctioneer services that night.
The 2018 inaugural Gallery Experience came as Oklahoma state funding
for its schools made headlines with teacher walkouts in April protesting
low salaries and lack of education resources to do their jobs.
Teachers in Oklahoma earn about a third less than the average teachers'
pay nationwide, according to a July 2019 USA Today article. The
average annual pay in the state, adjusted to the cost of living,
is $46,456, the lowest teacher salary of all states and considerably
less than the U.S. average of almost $63,000.
"Every penny will go directly to every teacher in the Pawhuska
Public School District," Roanhorse said. At the event, Roanhorse
said her daughter, Anya Brezinski, and other art students are the
reasons she helped put the event together. In past years, Roanhorse
has hosted art workshops in Pawhuska and took note of students with
Those who purchased artworks that evening included ON Congressional
Speaker Joe Tillman, Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn.
Congresswoman Brandy Lemon, artist Wendy Ponca and citizen Marilyn