MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 30, 2014

New mural uses new technique

Support board concept honors memory of Roger Davis

Muskogee’s new downtown mural will be dedicated to a local artist and use a new method of public art, said Wren Stratton of the Muskogee Area Arts Council.

Entitled “Mustang Crossing,” the mural will be featured on the side of the Muskogee Public Schools parking garage between Court Street and Broadway on Main Street, facing north.

The arts council is sponsoring the mural, which is scheduled to be completed this week.

The mural will replace one that depicts a cattle drive, which was the first mural in the downtown area to be completed by the arts council. The late Roger Davis was the lead artist for that project, Stratton said.

The new mural was designed by Davis, and arts council members have changed its original design to honor Davis, whom Stratton described as “somebody that Muskogee really cared about.”

Davis died last year. He specialized in oil portraits, still lifes and landscapes. He also painted portraits of Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductees and Muskogee kids.

The original mural design included images of four painters. It has been changed to include an image of Davis painting, Stratton said. The mural also will have a bronze plaque in memory of Davis.

The new mural will be placed on the wall in a new way.

“It’s kind of an experiment,” Stratton said.

Instead of being painted directly on the wall, the mural was painted on 19 marine board panels. The panels were Davis’ idea, she said.

“We are hoping this will make maintenance and, if necessary, moving the murals more practical,” Stratton said.

The panels are being installed by Indian Capital Technology Center carpentry students.

The mural was painted by Dr. Robert Palmer from the University of Central Oklahoma, as were many of the murals in downtown Muskogee.

The mural project was paid for with arts council funds and many donations specifically for the mural project and to honor Davis.

“A lot of money was given in his memory,” Stratton said.

The artwork in downtown Muskogee and other areas of the city was sponsored by the arts council, and the organization will continue its work, Stratton said. “We will definitely do more public art.”

The council is “waiting to see what the downtown groups are going to do,” she said. “We want to see how we can fit in with the AIM initiative.”

AIM (Action in Muskogee) is a project of the Muskogee City-County Port Authority to develop a community-inspired implementation plan with accountability to improve Muskogee.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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