Throughout history, downtowns and town squares have served as the foundation of society’s freedom of expression and the center of community discourse. Downtown Tulsa is certainly no different. At an incredibly tense time in the community, and in the midst of planning for unprecedented events, the Downtown Coordinating Council found an opportunity to showcase Downtown Tulsa’s core values on temporary canvases throughout Downtown. More than 300 artists responded to a last-minute call for art on June 18th, 2020.
Within hours, commissioned artists began painting storefronts thanks to permission from businesses and the generosity of an anonymous donor. Within two days, more than a dozen artists mobilized to paint murals and messages inspiring hope, unity, and compassion throughout Downtown. While the storefronts were restored and businesses reopened the following week, the conversations sparked by this art and the core values it represents continue.
This exhibition will be up in the gallery to view from January 8th to January 23rd.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are reserved for appointments between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please call 918-585-1234 or email [email protected]rg to set up a viewing.
Thursdays and Fridays are open for gallery hours from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with limited capacity.
“Project Hope, Unity, and Compassion” showcases a range of artistic expression from artists at a very crucial and tense time in Tulsa’s recent history. With downtown Tulsa businesses boarded up in preparation for the Trump rally taking place during a pandemic, and the unknown in anticipation of large groups gathering and/or rioting, plywood boards became canvases for messages of encouragement and to inspire a higher consciousness in what the city should truly stand for. To come together. Not in a cliché way, but a reckoning in Tulsa as a city on a global stage and the posture towards its citizens. That unity is found not by choosing sides in opposition to be right or wrong, but to remind Tulsans of the value we have in each other as a community. To actively listen, correct and change for the better, and to respect each other as human beings. The plywood boards themselves are massive in size and a word to describe this exhibition is puzzling. Literally and figuratively, placing the boards according to the artists’ design was like putting a puzzle together. Placing the pieces of art strategically to fill up the space appropriately while considering each piece in relation to one another in terms of imagery, color, line work and use of words. The raw and bold nature of this exhibition strikes a new definition and direction of street art and lends itself to argue the importance of street art and the positive yet unique potential it provides." -Tina Henley, curator at Living Arts