Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lawton Art Exhibit Features Transformed Musical Instruments

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lawton Art Exhibit Features Transformed Musical Instruments

Article excerpt

An exhibit featuring musical instruments transformed into works of art opened in January at the Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery at 620 SW D Ave. in Lawton.

The exhibition includes a silent auction of the 14 works of art. All money from sales will be allocated to the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra. No commissions from the sales go to the gallery and visitors can drop by and see the exhibit and other art on display at the gallery for free.

The gallery has six shows a year, all with free admission; awards scholarships and grants; is the site of concerts and lunch bag lectures; and has a meeting room that is available for use by groups.

All of it is free.

"We do not charge for anything," said Nancy P. Anderson, executive director and curator of the Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery. "We do not charge a commission when we sell a piece. I do not know of another gallery that does that."

All of the operating expenses are provided by the foundation.

"I have been here 24 years and we decided from the start that we would not charge for anything," Anderson said. "Groups can use the meeting room for free, but they cannot charge."

Leslie Powell was born in 1906 in Kansas and spent his youth in Lawton after moving to Oklahoma with his family. Between 1923 and 1926, Powell studied art at the University of Oklahoma and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Later he studied at Columbia University.

As a painter, Powell traveled, but spent most of his time in New York showing his works at East Coast galleries and museums. He maintained his ties with Lawton over the years, often returning to paint in the Wichita Mountains.

He created the Municipal Arts Collection in Lawton in memory of his parents and created a trust to enrich cultural life. Powell died in 1979.

Powell was the only child of a pharmacist who was an original stockholder in Security Bank and Trust. When his father died, Leslie Powell inherited the bank interest, which became the basic financing for the Leslie Powell Trust. The Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery operates on money provided by the trust, Anderson said.

"We are financed off the interest of the trust," she said. …

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