Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Leaders Reject Proposed Bricktown Mural

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Leaders Reject Proposed Bricktown Mural

Article excerpt

An Oklahoma City committee with oversight over development design in Bricktown unanimously rejected a proposed $1.7 million mural Wednesday for the entertainment district, saying the project's backers did not put forward a complete proposal.

The proposed mural, which would have extended along the east wall of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad overpass in Bricktown between Reno and Sheridan avenues, would have spanned 705 feet. Billed as the largest mural in the world, the project would actually have included as many as 60 individual murals that would have depicted various cultures represented in Oklahoma.

"This project has been four years in the making," said Louis Maltos, the new spokesman for the mural project. "Now we're back to square one."

A coalition of artists organized by Marv Jackson, president of United Cultural Murals & Sculpture, had sought city permission to create the mural in Bricktown. The project was expected to include 60 individual murals that would have stood 10-feet high and range from five feet to as wide as 200 feet wide.

Jackson said the project would tell the story of 37 native American tribes and other ethnic groups found in Oklahoma. Sixty artists had agreed to contribute to the mural, which would be accompanied by plaques explaining the historical significance of each artwork.

The project also would have included a lighted pedestrian trail running alongside the mural wall.

Jackson had conservatively estimated that the mural would attract 250,000 visitors to Bricktown each year, resulting in a financial impact of about $5.46 million. Jackson, however, said publicly that he expected much larger numbers of people to visit the mural.

"I've talked to businesses here, and 85 percent of Bricktown businesses have endorsed our project," Jackson said Wednesday.

Don Karchmer, a member of the Bricktown Urban Design Committee, recommended the mural be rejected because the proposal lacked evidence of financial support for the project and lacked the OK of the Oklahoma City Arts Commission, which had earlier reviewed the mural design. …

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