Lawton artist creates painting for USPS stamp

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Stamps with ties to Lawton will soon be flying around the country, after a local artist was chosen by the postal service.

Robert Peterson’s had a big year, he was added to four permanent national museum collections and now has painted the 46th stamp in the USPS Black Heritage stamp series.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to be great, to have my name mentioned amongst the greats and to do that you have to do something that sets yourself apart from them,” said Peterson.

Lawton artist Robert Peterson always wanted to leave a legacy, and with one of his paintings being selected by the U.S. Postal Service, he said he’s achieved that goal.

“This will be a way for them to be able to be introduced to my work and not only my work but also Ernest Gaines the person who I was asked to paint,” he said.

USPS chose to honor Gaines as the face of the 46th stamp in the Black Heritage Series. In life, the author used his childhood experience on a Louisiana plantation to tell the stories of rural African Americans.

Peterson said minorities only make up a small percentage of the art being added to permanent collection like these. He hopes his art work is opening doors for all minorities.

“It’s coming along, they’re making changes but I think it’s because of artist like myself that refuse to settle with just no, or be like well it’s never happened so it’s not going to happen, I don’t care if it’s happened I’m going to make it happen,” he said.

Peterson started his career painting celebrities until he decided he needed something that would set him apart.

He began working with photographers by painting their photos, and his career shifted as he got noticed by some pretty important people, but when he was contacted by someone with the postal service, at first he couldn’t believe it.

He wants to inspire and motivate the youth to pursue what are viewed as non-traditional careers.

“What I chose to do with my wife is we chose to give back to places like the Lawton Ft Sill art Council, Cameron University, and Oklahoma A+, we donate whether its money, time , or art to be auctioned off to raise the funds and bring awareness to these programs,” said Peterson.

The Heritage series will be released in February of next year for Black history month.