Tales From Tulsa-Circuit Riders
Because I love horses, art, artists and history, discovering Robert Garrison’s Circuit Riders atop the Boston Avenue Methodist church in Tulsa was exhilarating! When I say “discover” it just means that while I’ve always craned my neck to check out this super cool piece of Art Deco architecture, I’m always on my way to the Tulsa Expo Center and have never had the opportunity to stop and really check out the building.
Yesterday was the first morning that Patty Lirakos and I shifted to the “late shift” at the US Nationals Show office and so as the sun hit the building (and Patty chauffeured) I finally satisfied my curiosity and researched the Boston Avenue Methodist Church and discovered that it’s considered a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture and there's three equestrian figures above the doors known as the Circuit Riders.
These terracotta sculptures were created by Robert Garrison—a man with ties to not only Oklahoma, but Colorado and New York as well! Yep, you can find examples of his sculpture here in Tulsa, the Denver Botanical Gardens and Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Why are there three amazing examples of equestrian art at the top of a Methodist church? The answer is actually in the title—Circuit Riders. “Circuit Riders” traveled the frontier on horseback, making a “circuit” in order to reach outlying areas!