Artists refurbishing carousel ponies

Buffalo carousel

By Ashleigh Fox
The Sheridan Press

BUFFALO — ‘Round and ‘round the horses go, chasing one another into a rich history held within intricately-painted fiberglass bodies.

Those same bodies of past carousel stars lie stationary and sanded down in the barn-like studio of Arnette Tiller, a local potter in Buffalo. Tiller, along with local Buffalo craftsman Daniel Walters, have completed the majority of what Tiller described as a process similar to painting a car.

“What started as a dream to bring our historic carousel to the downtown core has blossomed into a complete center for the visual and performing arts, which we offer for the enjoyment of locals and tourists,” Tiller said in an introduction on the building and project’s website, “When complete, the center will house the only full-sized carousel in Wyoming and the only Cowboy and Indian carousel in the world.”

The space itself contains literature educating visitors about the carousel’s history and has just enough backyard space to one day fit the fully-renovated carousel. Currently, 12 horses have been completed with full body redos and historical labels painted atop a fresh coat of airbrushed color. Twelve more sit half-completed and barely sanded, awaiting love from community members beyond Tiller and Walters.

The carousel and horses were originally from the East Coast before a local man purchased it and brought it out to live out West. He had a craftsman remodel the horses to reflect a traditional cowboy and indian feel, which is how the horses were loved so well during the carousel’s running years in Buffalo.

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