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About Us

About the Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery

Leslie Powell was a painter and the only child of a local pharmacist who was an original stockholder in the Security Bank and Trust. When the elder Mr. Powell died, Leslie Powell inherited this bank interest which was the nucleus of the Leslie Powell Trust. For more information about Leslie Powell, see the Leslie Powell Biography.

The Leslie Powell Trust

Under Leslie Powell's will, a trust was established with three trustees appointed by the bank. These trustees are currently, Floyd Kennedy, retired banker; Robert Ross, practicing attorney; and Alan Jolly, a local builder. The trust was to take the corpus of the estate and hold same for the benefit of the Leslie Powell Foundation.

The Foundation Board and the Gallery Executive Director and Curator

The Foundation Board consists of five people, two nominated by the Trust, one nominated by Cameron University, one by the City of Lawton, and one by the Lawton-Ft. Sill Arts Council.

The current members of the Leslie Powell Foundation are John Kennedy and Paul Fisher, representing the Trust; Judy Garrett, representing Cameron University; Jane Godlove, representing the City of Lawton; and David W. Carter, representing the Lawton-Ft. Sill Art Council. Each serves at the pleasure of the appointers without term limits. Nancy P. Anderson is the Executive Director and curator of the gallery.

Gallery Location and History 

The Foundation initially occupied the second floor of the Little Chapel of Lawton, where it conducted monthly art exhibits and functions until April 2000.  In addition to the arts exhibits, the Leslie Powell Foundation solicits requests from the fine art community for financial needs and has in the past made financial grants for $15,000 to $20,000 annually. 

The gallery moved to its current location of 620 SW D Avenue in April 2000. Prior to that move, it was ascertained that the Leslie Powell Program had out-grown the space available at the Little Chapel of Lawton. The Foundation wanted to keep the Gallery in the downtown area and wanted to renovate an existing structure, and keeping the building's 1920 "art deco" flavor. 

The original building appears to have been built in the mid 1920s as part of the second wave of Central Business District construction (ie., in the transition from the early wooden buildings to the brick structures). Its location indicates that it was considered to be on the edges of the "Downtown," a common location for its early use. City directories in the 1920's list the building as the location of the "Sanitary Grocery," a use which continued for at least 30 years. It was located next to a car garage, although that building appears to have been destroyed by fire in the 1940s or early 1950s. 

We do not have a complete list of uses from the 1950s, but we do know that it has been vacant for many of those years. Most recently, it was the site of Pickles, an antique mall, until purchased and renovated by the Leslie Powell Foundation. Roger Brown was the architect on the renovation project, and Dallas Howard was the contractor. 

A few of Lawton's original downtown buildings are located in the immediate area of the Gallery's new location, including the Central Fire Station and the Federal Building, both eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

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Shown in the new gallery in 2001 - Artists: Maryruth Prose and Don Narcomey


Artists, do you need gallery dimensions to plan your show?

See a floor plan of the gallery.

From a show in the new gallery at 620 D Ave.
Artists: Berta Flexiner and Don Narcomey

Text © Copyright 1998-2013
Leslie Powell Foundation and Gallery
620 SW D Ave.
Lawton, OK 73501
Phone: (580) 357-9526
Gallery Director

Image credits: All collection and exhibit images are the property of the individual artists and may not be reproduced or republished without express written consent of the artist.

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