If you've lived in Southwest Oklahoma for the past decade, you have probably heard of a wonderful local artist who everyone raves about - Robert Peterson.

Robert, who by artist standards is a fairly recent artist. His career began only a decade ago. Of course, when you are in the thick of making a living as an artist, needing to sell a painting to pay a bill, 10 years is an eternity! I last spoke with Robert almost four years ago. At that time, he was just beginning to experience success with his art. Fast forward to today, and you'll find Robert selling out art shows in 36 minutes, and being invited to show in New York City and a recent showing in London.




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I really wanted to talk to him about his most recent success, seeing one of his paintings being turned into a postage stamp in 2023. When I asked how this came about, Robert said that someone had recommended him as an artist for this commission. He still doesn't know who threw his name in the hat, and he may never know! But the United States Postal Service reached out to him by email.

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A post shared by Robert Peterson (@caleblee81)

Robert was skeptical, as you might imagine, and did research on the sender to make sure they were legitimate. So Robert responded, and found that they wanted him to do a painting of Author Ernest J. Gaines. Needing time to find out more about the author, Robert began reading some of Gaines' work, like "The Autobiography of Jane Pittman and "A Lesson Before Dying." Before even finishing the books, he knew this was a man he wanted to tribute with his art.

Lawton could not be more proud to have such talent living and working in Lawton-Fort Sill. I teased Robert that one day, I'd like to be able to have an original Robert Peterson, but probably could only afford even a print. Robert said, "That's where art collecting begins."

If you missed our interview with Robert Peterson, you can listen below. And here is the official 2023 postage stamps announcement from the United States Postal Service.

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