Oklahoma City

OKCtopus still provides fun as Fowler’s massive mural turns 5 years old – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-11-25 16:05:42 –

Oklahoma City (Free press) — From giant flowers to inspiring historical compliments, the Oklahoma City building has become a monument to the plural free expression of her mural artist.

Ten or five years ago, the concept of Oklahoma City as something other than the wreckage of a dilapidated boomtown prairie was ideal. The possibilities were considered, but never seriously considered.

Today, the seismic changes in economic and cultural dynamics not only make it possible to think of the future of Oklahoma City as a vibrant hub of art, music and pop culture engines, but they are inevitable.

Take a bike tour of the city with a city-savvy guide, like Ryan Fogle (which was unthinkable 10 years ago), revealing the physical aspects of the changes the city is experiencing. Will be.

Perhaps the greatest indicator that the Oklahomans can measure this change is the dramatic boom in public art that has become characteristic of the city, especially the murals painted throughout the city.

stand out

One mural in particular stands out for its size and history. Jack Fowler’s OK Ctopus dominates the host building with many tentacles covering the wall like the mythical Kraken.

The entire OK Ctopus mural by Jack Fowler in Bricktown covers about half a block. (BRETT DICKERSON / Oklahoma City Free Press)

But the inspiration for Fowler’s work was his girlfriend.

After being invited to paint a mural from downtown Oklahoma City to the abandoned Bricktown Event Center, Fowler drove to see the building. “I was standing behind the parcel and looking behind the building-the shape is very long and less swaying-I was just trying to figure out what could be put here, and I My girlfriend was really crazy about octopuses and I’ve read a lot about them lately. I just saw them meandering across this building and after seeing it I saw nothing else. I’ve never had it. That’s all I really need to experience. “

After 35 days of work, Fowler completed the OK Ctopus in December 2016. instance Of creative public art throughout the city.

Fowler’s murals are dotted with hidden images called “Easter eggs” that draw the viewer’s attention across the wall.


Go to the murals on the alley side of Bricktown IHOP and Bricktown Event Center to find it and use your mobile phone to do an augmented reality scavenger hunt for four hidden images. Each popup shows Fowler talking about how he came up with that particular hidden image. (No need to download the app!)

Once you find five of them, use the sixth button to display the motion view of the mural.

Scavenger hunt

The scavenger hunt forces the observer to slow down the full width of the mural and watch it. OKCtopus tentacles include everything from saxophones to light bulbs to elephants.

Cymetria Woods uses her phone to find five of the many hidden in the giant OKCtopus mural. She was able to watch a video talking about each particular person as Fowler pointed the camera. (BRETT DICKERSON / Oklahoma City Free Press)

When Fowler was asked why it was important to include these hidden images, his answer was simple: “It was too big!”

“It’s such a big piece that you can’t really see it when you’re standing in front of you like a pedestrian. It’s like observing a blue whale from a distance of 6 inches. That doesn’t mean anything. So 100 I needed something that meant something to the person standing in front of it, not a yard away. “

By drawing his work in a larger mural, Fowler provides an active one for short-distance observers, “instead of a large one that cannot be understood from a distance.” It also doubled to stay focused and inspiring while Fowler called it “a comprehensive endurance test for me.”

The microscopic details of the individual images and the enormous size of the juxtaposed murals reveal why the murals were such a feat for Fowler.

Ordinance obstacles

However, another obstacle almost finished the project at the beginning of the project, before Fowler’s brush painted the wall.

According to Fowler, Oklahoma City has enforced an ordinance banning “non-historical art” in Bricktown. Instead, he was urged by local journalists and others to rely on Charlie Christian, a jazz musician in the Oklahoma City-based Deep Deuce scene.

Fowler replied negatively: “I don’t think artists work for the Tourism Board.” Downtown OKC supported Fowler, challenged the ordinance, and eventually wiped it out of the Oklahoma City codebook.


Fowler’s work paved the way for Oklahoma City’s public art.

In Oklahoma City, the growth of public art continues as a continuous trend. “More and more landlords and real estate owners are seeing the benefits of not only painting the building, but also allowing the artist to use it as a studio when it’s not being used for other purposes. I think, “says Fowler.

Today, Oklahoma City’s public art is one of its trademarks. “Here, a climate that no one could have predicted 20 years ago was born. The town will be known for its murals and landlords working with artists who want to make public art.”

Painted on his clothes, Jack Fowler pauses near completion in December 2016 and poses with his sister Melissa Felt and her children Celia and Mack. (Provided by the artist)

For Fowler, public art and murals have two values. “By drawing art on the sides of the building, the building comes alive in an unprecedented way. It’s contagious.”

In addition, murals and public art rejuvenate the ruins and parts of the city.

As Fowler points out, “If you’re trying to start a business, buy or sell a building, or do a daily commerce, the way the place feels to you affects whether you do it or not. increase. .”

Investing in public art will shape the communities around it, draw attention to new and dynamic locations in the city, and ultimately bring economic resources. OKCtopus is just one example of the value that public art brings to Oklahoma City, and we need to continue to support public artists while enjoying the benefits of their work.

Special thanks to the Inasmuch Foundation for participating in Trifecta Communications and providing funding to create augmented reality features for this project and two upcoming art reporting projects. Take a look at this space for future collaborations!

Last updated: November 25, 2021 15:14 Brett Dickerson-Editor

OKCtopus still provides fun as Fowler’s massive mural turns 5 years old Source link OKCtopus still provides fun as Fowler’s massive mural turns 5 years old

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