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GRAFFITI, ART, PLAZA DISTRICT, VideosDusty GilpinComment

Very honored to be invited back to paint with the Plaza Walls family. It's been 2 years since I painted the portrait of Cuz and Domingo. When Kris asked me to paint the Gatewood wall, I was tasked again with coming up with a concept... always the hardest part.

As my paint date approached, I struggled to find a good concept. Then, in a stroke of chumpness as I drove into the Plaza, it kinda hit me. I went home, told Kristen the general concept, and she helped me fine tune it. 'Don't let the lights burn out.'

I've never painted a mural with the intention of later animating it. I've seen others do it, but have never given it a go. The concept is simple, paint and photo in stages. This particular animation only took 3 stages. I'm super thankful for Nathan Poppe for helping me capture the process with his fancy camera skills.

Give the video a watch below! I'm definitely looking forward to doing more of these soon.

Real Recognize Real:

Plaza Walls is a tremendous project headed up by Kris Kanaly. He and his crew are really curating an incredible mural scene in Oklahoma City. They deserve every bit of funding and appreciation they get. Please check them out, he is doing a ton of footwork to get these murals painted and funded. These murals bring patrons to the Plaza.

Dunlap Codding has been a supporter of my art for a long time. They have invited me over two dozen times to work on paint projects in their office. I was very humbled to find out that they sponsored this mural. Big thanks to Doug and Julie.

• Before I started this mural, I was contacted by my friend Josh Kouri. His 14 year old son, Elijah, had expressed interest in illustration and mural work. Without asking for lessons, tips, art, or my time, he asked if he could help. Sometimes I am hesitant to have shadows and interns because it can be mildly burdensome. However, Elijah never hesitated to find tasks to do. When I needed to work, he watched. When he saw that something needed to done, he helped. If I asked him to do a task, he did it or learned how to do it. He helped me trim about 4 hours of work off this mural and we knocked out a majority of it in one work day. Thank you!

Welcome To The Plaza

ART, GRAFFITI, PLAZA DISTRICTDusty Gilpin2 Comments

My art is fairly straightforward. I'm not much of a surrealist, and although I like to draw cartoons, my main goal is almost always to communicate a message. When I was approached about painting the Indiana wall by the Plaza Walls committee, I was fairly hesitant. It's a big space, and honestly I don't really have a defined 'style' or consistent theme in my art right now. I told Kris Kanaly (of Plaza Walls) to give me a week to think about it.

Then my friend Charles walked into the store.

Charles (endearingly referred to as Cuz or Cookie by Plaza goers) will visit our store anywhere between 2-8 times a day. Cuz has lived in the this neighborhood long before it became what we now know as the vibrant, hip, Plaza District. Cuz enjoys a chicken sandwich and french fries at The Mule, but he's not here for the artisanal menus, the art, the booze, or any of the retail establishments. To Charles, we are all somehow related. In one way or another, we are all family, and that's why we call him Cuz.

Not as frequently, but quite often, we'll get a visit from another common Plaza pedestrian, Domingo. Domingo (or Domino, or 'Mingo, or Trouble...) lives in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood and works at Scorecards Bar on Indiana. He has a lively personality and has even coined his own enthusiastic catchphrase, 'Yeah, right!" His involvement in the neighborhood proceeds the rejuvenation, the restaurants, and the retails. Although he doesn't have a tattoo and doesn't drink, you can find him most often at No Regrets Tattoo Shop or Scorecards Bar.

Every town has a sign or a mural or water tower recognizing their hometown heroes or living legends. Well, these are ours. They've had no financial investment in the development of the neighborhood, but they help define what the Plaza is. The Plaza is a community, not a shopping center. The Plaza, like Cuz would have it, is a family. Absolutely, and most importantly, everyone is welcome here.

This mural is a tribute to everyone involved in the Plaza community. It is for the folks that have lived in this neighborhood for decades, the new businesses and residents, and all the patrons and out-of-towners that visit us. It's a reminder to the new residents (myself included) that although we are in business to profit, that profit cannot come at the expense of the preexisting community. Not everyone will understand the message this mural is sending, and that's okay. Sadly, but understandably, this mural will be covered up in a month or so, and that's okay too. I'd love for the mural to have a lasting impression on the neighborhood. At the end of the day, it left a big impression on two of the greatest neighbors and friendliest faces the Plaza has ever had.

Plaza District Festival Wrap

Steven SilvaComment

This year's Plaza District Festival was a major success, a truly awesome experience to be a part of! A big thanks to the hardworking volunteers, our business neighbors who regularly create the atmosphere that makes this place special, and last but not least, you guys! Events like this don't happen without the tremendous support of the community. 

Art reigned supreme on the day. Local musicians turned in some fantastic performances. Kyle Reid and his Chariots had the main stage jumping. It was like a jazzed up hot-house by the end of the night. The crowds were full of color and verve. 

Speaking of color and verve, thanks to a tremendous bit of cooperation, some of our alleyways are getting a paint job. In a community effort spearheaded by our friends, Dylan Bradway (of DNA Galleries) and Kris Kanaly, a curated rotation of mural artists will be invited out to make some marks. Here are some photos from Festival Day, the official kickoff of this project:

Photo by:   @plazawalls

Photo by: @plazawalls

Photo by:   @plazawalls ,  Art by:   @yeehawpizza

Photo by: @plazawallsArt by: @yeehawpizza

Give @plazawalls a follow, especially if you're interested in painting! Check it out, and then drop into the district to see it up close!