OKC Arts Council Hosts Mural Competition On New Year’s Eve

Opening Night is a huge night for Oklahoma City residents, and it has become an even bigger night for four young artists. 

Friday, December 31st 2021, 1:48 pm



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Opening Night is a huge night for Oklahoma City residents, and it has become an even bigger night for four young artists. 

“Giving minorities and youth and young adults equal opportunities in the arts community,” said Denae Smith, Oklahoma City artist. 

This is year two for the Fresh Paint competition. It features local artists between the ages of 18 and 25.

It’s presented by the Oklahoma City Arts Council and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The murals are displayed on the southwest side of the Chickasaw Bricktown Ball Park. 

“This year we featured four young women of color and they worked with mentors to help get these projects going,” said Kendall Bleakley with the Oklahoma City Arts Council. 

Each mural stands eight feet tall, and each artist was allowed their own self-expression. 

“My mural is comprised of different people that have either impacted me personally through art or have inspired the black arts movement in general. So, there’s Jeff Donaldson, there’s Nate Lewis, Bisa Butler, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou are all faces that are constructed within that one big face on my mural,” said Smith. 

NyLainah Brewer took a biblical direction and based her mural on Adam and Eve. 

“To me it just represented a new world. She’s giving birth to this baby, but the baby is wrapped in this cloth and it’s a union, it’s a mirage or a marriage and how there’s so much beauty when two come together because two can do twice as much as one,” Nylainah Brewer, Oklahoma City artist. 

The murals will be on display through the weekend, but voting ends at midnight Friday. 

“I think they are wonderful, they are gorgeous, they are beautiful, you have to check them out you have to vote for them. These women are incredible artists and I’m really excited to see where they go,” said Bleakley. 

The artists started working on the murals in early November, and over several different sessions, completed them in about 24 total hours.

The artists are excited about the competition, but they are even more excited about having their work on display for the big New Year’s Eve celebration.

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