December 27, 2012
A. Kelly Pruitt was a highly acclaimed West Texas artist, listed in Texas Monthly’s December 2009 issue of “People We’ll Miss — 2009,” second only to Walter Cronkite. Pruitt started breaking horses at age 12 and helped bring many a trail herd across the Rio Grande from Mexico to Presidio, Texas, where he and his family lived. He went on to work at the Boquillas Ranch, near the Grand Canyon, the site where he crafted his first paintings on scraps of rainbow sandstone. Pruitt’s skilled artistry caught the attention of the proprietor of the historic El Tovar Hotel, and thus began his celebrated career as a premier Western painter and sculptor.
Every year some of Austin’s influential artists, architects, and entrepreneurs travel south to Presidio County to honor the late artist, writer, cowboy sage, and visionary, A. Kelly Pruitt (February 9, 1924 – February 15, 2009). La Junta Heritage Center (La Junta) is Pruitt’s vision.