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Painted Horses

Sports & Outdoors, Family Fun, Arts & Culture

If you’re from out of town, one of the first things you’ll probably notice about Shawnee driving around are the large, painted horse sculptures: Scattered throughout town on street corners overlooking sidewalks, either standing strong or bucking wildly, all with bold and unique designs.

The original project was a public art and civic pride partnership, designed to range from September 2007 through February 2008. Initially titled “Horses in the City”, the spirit of the project hoped to celebrate the civic pride and artistic creativity of Oklahomans in a way that all Oklahomans can enjoy.

As it is originally described in its formative documents,

“Horse in the City is a citywide public art presentation designed to enliven cultural activity and increase tourism to Shawnee. The horses are to be sponsored by companies, organizations, and individuals, and be transformed into multimedia works of art by local artists and craftspeople.”

The original framework made it an officially recognized partner with the State Centennial and allowed room for up to 100 painted horses. While the project landed a little short of that milestone, horses continued to be sponsored far beyond its original timeframe, and new horses are added each year!

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