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Duncan Art Show Celebrates 50th Year

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DUNCAN, Okla_For 50 years local artists have been flocking to Duncan for the Annual Fine Art Holiday Show, and this year is no different.

Over 20 different artists and over 100 pieces fill the walls of the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center, and will be on display through the weekend.

When people think of the small town of Duncan, art probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but this local husband and wife team are doing their part to change that perception.

Duncan resident and artist Mark Slagle knows how important art is to a community.

"It's very important. It really provides an outlet for people to come and see a side of the community they wouldn't ordinarily see. Because things like this aren't available on a business by business basis, " Slagle explained.

And he's not alone. Since 1961 the Art Guild of Duncan has put on a show for the community featuring photography, oil paintings and everything in between.

Slagle said, "I've read the history of the art guild and I've seen pictures from newspapers clippings and those ladies would lean the art up against walls on the sidewalks on Main Street."

So four years ago when Slagle's wife Karen was faced with this puzzling thought...

"Someone asked me if I was ready to retire, and I said no not really. And they said well when you get ready to retire, retire to something not from something. And I thought 'Oh! What am I gonna do?'" Mrs. Slagle said.

She knew her answer immediately. Photography. After all her husband was already trying his hand at painting, and she's in love with the scenery of Southwest Oklahoma, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

Karen says photography is really more of a hobby and a chance to spend quality time with friends, but knowing she has a place in the community to put her work on display is icing on the cake.

Karen says, "You know it makes it feel like it's appreciated. And other people enjoy it, and you know when something you have a passion about, other people like, you feel like it's worth your time."

This year's show features artists from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and more. The goal is to grow the number of participants from year to year, and Karen wants to encourage anyone who's interested in the arts that it's never too late to get started and...

"Just get out and have a good time at it. Don't take it so serious. Enjoy what you do."

This year's show may be the last of its kind. The hope for the coming years is to split the show into three smaller shows to showcase photography, paintings and 3 dimensional art individually.

The show runs through Sunday from 1 to 4 PM at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center. Admission is free.

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