Painted ponies to be raffled off at Platte County Fair

The Platte County Art Guild painted carousel ponies to be raffled off at this year’s county fair. They are currently displayed in the window at Dance Wyoming Dance Studio downtown Wheatland.

WHEATLAND – The Platte County Art Guild (PCAG) had carousel ponies donated to them this year to do with as they wished. They wished to paint them and raffle them off at the Platte County Fair.

“The ponies were donated to the Platte County Art Guild and it was told to us to take them or they were going in the trash,” said Platte County Art Guild president Bonnie Parker. “When we had our next meeting, Helen Rutz who couldn't resist and took both ponies to see if anybody wanted them, I thought it would be a good moneymaker to paint and raffle off.”

Rutz came up with the idea of taking them out to the fair to sell raffle tickets for the fundraiser. Linda Fabian thought that the group should display them in Dance Wyoming’s window until they are raffled off. This way, the people could see ahead of time what they are bidding on. The tickets are a $1 for one or $5 for six tickets. PCAG is a nonprofit organization that originally started in 1935.

“Did you know that not only was the Platte County Art Guild started in 1935 but their very first meeting was held in the basement of "Bookout Appliances" (900 block of Gilchrist Street) as the Wheatland Art Guild?” asked Parker. “For those historians ‘the Guild’ as it was called at that time or should I say the core people were Ellen Marie Burnett, Betty Bookout, Wyona Chasteen, Necile Richards and Velma Short.”

From there the Guild developed as members from surrounding towns began not only to attend but also some joined. On June 28, 1983, the Platte County Art Guild was organized under "Articles of Association.”

The Art Guild has been instrumental in their mural creations in and around Wheatland, incorporating the help of volunteers.

“We pay for someone to hold a workshop and to show us new techniques and also try to encourage anyone to come and try art,” Parker said. “We go on field trips for inspiration to oversee the Fine Arts at the county fair. The 2 teams, the city, and the country both decorated a pony to raffle off to raise money for art supplies, workshops and ribbons for the fair, the PCAG has donated to scholarships, they have supported Wheatland Schools, and during Covid hand painted cards for the residents of the Legacy home.

“We are going to be making the centerpieces for the State Historical Society when they have their meeting in Wheatland,” Parker said.