This is part four of a series about Osage artist Addie Roanhorse, daughter of artist the late Gina Gray, who spoke at ArtNight in January. Roanhorse works for the Osage Nation as a graphic designer and photographer. She is also a painter using mixed media.


Roanhorse purchased a two-story, 105 year-old building in downtown Pawhuska a few months before the Pioneer Woman Mercantile opened and with a business partner made the second floor into an Airbnb called The Little Rainsong Loft.


The first floor, which she has named “Partake” is an event space. Last year, Roanhorse decided to use the space to have an exhibit featuring the work of children and on the second night an art auction of work by her artist friends to raise money for teachers.


Roanhorse delivered 100 12-by-12 canvases to the elementary and high school students and said, “get these back to me in the next four weeks, and we’re going to have a gallery showing with every one of you.


“We called it the gallery experience,” she said.


Because so many wanted to participate in the elementary school, the teachers suggested having the students write paragraphs about why they would like to participate. She received 68 paragraphs from fourth- to sixth-graders.


On the second night they held the art auction. The Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce director, who is also an auctioneer, auctioned the pieces. “It lasted 18 minutes, and we raised $1,875,” Roanhorse said.


With the funds raised, Roanhorse gave Amazon gift cards to the 57 teachers at the public schools in the area.


“We don’t have art in our schools, and I think that’s a big reason why kids have anxiety. They have stresses in those paragraphs. I started crying when I read them. … you have football and then, you have basketball. But, what about the kids that don’t get that stress reliever out of that or are not very good at it. I know I was terrible. I think it’s important for our kids. Our society is producing very one-sided kids. We can’t send them out into the world and say ‘be successful’ with one-side of your brains.


“But, again, I grew up in this environment where I just, I don’t want to say I took it for granted, but I just didn’t realize. When I had a kid say, ‘well, where do you paint?’ At my studio. ‘Well, what’s a studio?’ ‘What’s this?’ ‘It’s a paint brush.’ ‘Well, where do you get this?’ They really didn’t know. So, just slowly kind of trying to spread the event where we can.


“We’re definitely doing the event again this year,” Roanhorse said with a smile.