OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – It's the second week of the One Tank Trip series and that means we're in Oklahoma City.
7News anchor David Bradley shows us the spectacular National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
You'll find a feast for the eyes, and come face-to-face with America's past when you stroll the museum grounds.
"We celebrate all things Western, and I think for many people in the West that represents a way of life and something we all understand. But, the important thing about the West for so many of us is the fact that it represents so much of our nation's character," said Steven Karr, CEO of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Established in 1965, this is the largest western art and culture dedicated museum in the United States.
The giant sculpture in the entryway strikes both a sense of awe and pain. "The End of the Trail," the iconic sculpture by James Fraser shows a Native American warrior and his mount. Its sheer size is overwhelming, 18 feet high, weighing thousands of pounds, and so is the message, the subjugation of a proud people during America's westward expansion.
That's just one of many inspiring works on display here. The walls are filled with paintings by renowned western artists, and coming up on June 10 and June 11, it's the Prix de West, which is an invitational art exhibit of more than 300 western paintings and sculptures by the finest contemporary artists in America. There are art seminars, demonstrations, an auction and an awards dinner. You'll need a reservation to attend most of those activities, but you don't need a special occasion to soak in all there is to see here, inside and out with galleries that are popular for all ages and interests.
"If you're not interested in cowboys, that's fine. We have a phenomenal American Indian collection. We have a phenomenal art collection, Remingtons, Russells, bronzes, stone sculptures and again a collection of western culture material that is unrivaled: saddles, spurs, firearms, barbed wire. This is the epicenter of the celebration of the American West in this great nation of ours, and please come out and see it time and time again," Karr said.
Be sure to join us Thursday for another Oklahoma City destination. This one is a little more obscure, but thanks to a boost from comedian and actor Steve Martin, attendance has grown by 60% over the past year.
The first two winners have been drawn to win a $50 EZ-GO gas card. For a list of winners and to learn how you can win a gas card to take your very own One Tank Trip, click here.