Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Downtown Enid to Provide Backdrop for Art

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Downtown Enid to Provide Backdrop for Art

Article excerpt

On March 1, more than 200 original works of art will be free for the taking in downtown Enid.

The art on 4-by-4-inch blocks is a joint project of Art Lab Enid, Main Street Enid. About 100 artists will create the art.

Main Street Enid is the sponsor of First Friday, a monthly celebration on the evening of the first Friday monthly. First Friday includes live music, shopping and dining. The First Friday concept is to get people to come to downtown Enid and have fun while promoting downtown retailers and restaurants.

On March 1, the free art will be part of the fun, said Kelly Tompkins, Enid Main Street Program manager.

Art Lab Enid, a newcomer to downtown, is coordinating the artists providing the art.

"It will let people see there is art being created locally," said Robert Hoggard, one of Art Lab Enid's resident artists.

The artists at Art Lab Enid provided the 4-by-4 art boards and recruited the artists. A wide variety of area artists are participating, including painters, photographers and sculptors. Each artist will take one to five blocks.

"Anyone with a creative whim to develop something on a 4-inch block can create something," said Jay Hollopeter, another resident artist at Art Lab Enid.

The art will be placed all over downtown Enid for First Friday, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 1.

"It will be sort of like an Easter egg hunt," Hoggard said. "If you find one you can take it. Then if you find one you like better you can take it and leave the other one in its place."

The free art is expected to attract more people to First Friday and more visitors to downtown merchants, Tompkins said.

It will also promote art.

Art Lab Enid is taking photographs of the art for an online gallery.

"It is a way to promote the artists and to promote art in the community," Hollopeter said.

Promoting art and local artists is part of the concept for the creation of Art Lab Enid, studio space for working artists just off the square on N. Independence in downtown Enid.

The idea for Art Lab Enid started with the need for studio space. …

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