Mural honoring last Comanche chief to be unveiled Saturday

The town of Quanah is paying tribute to its namesake at noon Saturday with the unveiling of a mural depicting famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.

The mural painted by Parker’s great-great grandson, Quanah Parker Burgess, will feature Parker riding horseback and flanked by two more Comanche riders.

Burgess said the connections between himself, the city and the mural’s subject made the project a natural fit.

“It just made sense. It just all worked out,” Burgess said. “You couldn’t plan it any better.”

He added that the cultural significance of the mural was something he took into consideration.

He hopes the mural will set a high bar for future Native American art, he said.

“It’s Comanche culture and Texas heritage at the same time. I think it kind of sets a mark for what Comanche or Native American art should be,” Burgess said.

The town of Quanah, which lies about 80 miles northwest of Wichita Falls, initially began exploring the idea of ​​a mural as a way to attract visitors and add more art to the city.

The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, which facilitates projects across a nine-county area, coordinates the creation of the mural.

Ann Arnold-Ogden, executive director of WFAAC, echoed the sentiment that Burgess was the right choice for the job and for Quanah.

“This piece has double-value add for the community,” Arnold Ogden said.

“Not only is the subject of the namesake of the community, it’s also painted by Quanah Parker’s great-great grandson,” she said.

There are huge connections for the community, Ogden said.

“He’s such a well-known and talented Comanche artist, there was no other artist that could do this piece. It had to be Quanah Parker Burgess,” she said.

The unveiling is set against the backdrop of a busy cultural weekend in Quanah. The town is set to host the second annual Quanah Medicine Mounds Gathering.

The Gathering will include bus tours of the areas. Later on Friday afternoon, a selection of authors and university professors will speak on Quanah Parker and Comanche culture.

The day ends with a Doug Stone concert at Quanah High School. Saturday starts early with a 7 am to 9 am fundraiser breakfast for Save Star House at the Quanah Country Club.

The Quanah Parker Society Powwow is at 2 pm The full itinerary is available at

Arnold-Ogden said the mural marks an important piece of the overall cultural impact of the weekend.

She said art like Burgess’ piece is especially important in communities like Quanah.

“Art is something that helps us tell our story. It helps us unite with common history that we share. And it’s probably more important in small communities than big cities,” Arnold-Ogden said.

“But art when it is community-led in a small or rural community really has that much more of an impact. It is something that really can speak to a place’s history or its soul or what that community is all about,” she added later.

“I think it packs that much more of a punch in a small town and can be that much more important for the people that live there,” Arnold-Ogden said.

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