University of Oklahoma showcases history
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Campus Corner’s first mural showcases the area’s history while starting another chapter for the merchant district.
The new mural along Buchanan Avenue focuses on the connection between Campus Corner and University of Oklahoma sports by depicting OU’s first Heisman Trophy winner, Billy Vessels, and OU basketball legend Wayman Tisdale.
“I’ve had nothing but positive responses,” muralist Dean Coder told The Norman Transcript about the project. “There are a lot of young people who are going to be walking around Campus Corner who have no idea who these two are.”
Campus Corner Merchant Association Executive Director Erin Patton said she first proposed a mural project to the Campus Corner board in late spring or early summer. She gave a rough outline of the timeline and how the funding would work, then the board told her to go for it.
“This year is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Campus Corner district, and we thought this would be a great way to celebrate that history with a mural project,” Patton said.
Coder submitted his idea for the mural and Patton informed him about a month ago that his design was selected.
“The university and Campus Corner are so closely tied together,” Patton said. “Campus Corner is kind of a gathering point when it comes to university sports.”
He’s been working on the project since it was approved, though there has been a week-long rain delay.
Patton and Coder said the goal is to extend the mural along both sides of the current piece with pictures of historic Campus Corner landmarks like Town Tavern, which was once Norman’s oldest restaurant before it closed in 1988.
Coder will come back to add to the mural once funding is in place.
Patton said Campus Corner will look for some fundraising opportunities to cover the whole wall with a historic mural, not just the 10-foot-by-15-foot section Coder recently completed.
Patton said the project has spurred other Campus Corner businesses to create their own murals, bringing more diverse public art to the area.
“It is really cool,” Patton said. “We appreciate people coming down and enjoying our area.”
While Campus Corner finishes the district’s first mural project, Urban Alley will host its next art show during Second Friday Art Walk in the alley south of 220 East Main St., where Joshua Hinkle will paint a large garage door.
Information from: The Norman Transcript, http://www.normantranscript.com