Philbrook Museum - Tulsa, OK

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Ever Evolving Canvas - Graffiti Mecca At Mad Dog Liquor In Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mad Dog Liquor - 9347 E. 11th Street  Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128
To those who live elsewhere, and to some who live even closer, the thought of Tulsa, Oklahoma stirs up ideas of oil and cowboy hats or Native Americans, farm land and the historic "Mother Road", Route 66.

I must admit that all of these items remain in existence in 2011, some in larger quantities than others.

The once self proclaimed, and widely accepted "Oil Capital of the World" still has working refineries along the banks of the Arkansas river directly outside of downtown, and active oil wells dot the landscape for miles around the city. Individuals such as my grandfather still don their "cowboy" hats when working on their acres of farm land hauling hay for their horses and cattle. Everything from tribal casinos to reservation lands are within a short distance from the epicenter of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma as well. As many travel the famous Route 66 through Tulsa each year they are instantly met with the nostalgic images of days gone by. In addition to seeing a few casinos, cowboy hats, oil wells and working farms you can always find neon along Rt. 66 as the sun begins to set, but the existence of an entire property devoted to the art of graffiti..... in Tulsa?

What most people do not realize is that along the historic "Mother Road" of Route 66, which now follows 11th street through much of Tulsa, is a proverbial mecca for regional graffiti artists. The property is an ever changing visual experience, with new works and murals going up every single week, night and day. The most recent visit made by my wife and I was on January 7th, and we counted 3 murals dated for the same date, paint still wet and slowly drying.

 The owner of Mad Dog Liquor, Jacqueline Dutton, not only allows but welcomes artists to treat her two buildings as a canvas for their projects. To many, including some unfortunate property owners, the art of graffiti and tagging is nothing more than a nuisance. Personally it is one of my favorite forms of art and expression in our modern world, especially when the individual creating the mural is not rushed for fear of being arrested or having the property owner run them off.

 This property is a perfect example of the ever evolving canvas, and it's located right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

To the right you will find an excellent example of Tulsa Art at its finest by Brian Scott Hampton. I encourage you to check out his website
to see what else he is creating when not spending time outside at the only Legal Wall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  Is this place a party for your eyes, absolutely. Are all of the murals gang related, not a chance in hades. Are some of the images gang related, perhaps. Is it better than robbing a bank, making & selling drugs from home, beating up the elderly, or doing anything else destructive to the growth of society, you know it. One of the main things Tulsa is lacking is the abundance of and appreciation for outdoor art. I'm not talking about the large animal statues along riverside, or the decorated penguins throughout Tulsa, I mean things that make you want to stop and stare. Check it out if you ever get a chance, there is no way to know what you will get to see until you put the car in park. If you find something pleasing to your eyes you better take a picture, because it may never be seen again, and that's one reason why iDigTulsa.

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