Nearly one dozen artists flocked to the small alleyway off NW 16 Street hoping to leave their mark on a first of its kind, urban art mural during Saturday’s Plaza District Festival.
“We just noticed that this alley was really bare and kind of needed some life,” Dylan Bradway said.
Bradway, a local artist, is a co-curator for the building space owned by local business owner Steve Mason.
Bradway said they had been looking for a space to bring safe and legal urban art to Oklahoma City. The space, which covers the western portion of the block toward Indiana Avenue is permitted by the city. The artists have to get approval from the curators and from there, they're given their own section of brick.
It's all free form and the they can choose their own style, whether it's from a can or something a little more traditional, like the larger than life painting of Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers being brushed onto the building by Cassie Stover.
“People don't get out to art museums as much and just walking around the plaza, there it is art in your face,” Stover said.
These artists don't call it graffiti. To them, it's urban art. But no matter what you call it, it’s gotten a bad rap in other parts of town. The curators said they had to lay down a few concrete rules; nothing obscene and nothing offensive.
“If you're painting down here, it needs to be kid friendly,” Bradway said. “If it's not, we'll remove it or you won't have permission to be down here.”
But the art is only temporary. The plan is to have portions of the mural up for a few days or weeks and then let another artist paint over or paint into the existing mural.
“We plan to sometimes refresh the wall for artists if they want to but a lot of people will work right over other people's work,” Bradway said.
The curators plan to look at art grants in the future, but for the time being they will take artists on a first come first serve basis, he added.