POSTED ON MAY 12, 2010:
Brimming with Art
Brady Arts District takes on hosting Art Car Weekend and Art and Soul of Tulsa Festival
Art on the Go. For the past six years, Living Arts has sponsored ArtCar Weekend, which brings cartists from all over the country — and Oklahoma — to Tulsa to show off their car art. Shown: “Oojah” by Brian Vicker Mahanay
The third weekend in May is a busy one for the Brady Arts District. Having established itself as Tulsa's premier arts district, the area is doing all it can to get Tulsans outdoors and experiencing art before the heat of summer prevents anyone from straying more than five feet from the nearest air conditioner.
The Brady District hosts ArtCar Weekend and Brady Arts Festival -- Art and Soul of Tulsa sponsored by two reputable art organizations, Living Arts of Tulsa and Local Art Matters respectively, on May 14-16.
Living Arts of Tulsa has always been successful in bringing the most contemporary and forward-thinking artistic trends to the city. ArtCar weekend is no exception.
For the past six years, the Living Arts has been proud to bring this one-of-a-kind event to Oklahoma and involve Tulsa in the circuit of cities around the country that support the ArtCar phenomenon.
Living Arts sees ArtCar as an unconventional means of artistic expression and greatly supports the efforts of the individuals who invest time in creating these incredible works of art.
What is ArtCar weekend? If they have not intentionally attended an event, many veteran Tulsans have likely caught a glimpse of the convoy of elaborately designed vehicles cruising the streets of downtown Tulsa each spring.
Every year, a few new car artists, or cartists, join Tulsa's ArtCar entourage. This year, the Living Arts is excited to welcome back a truly unique ArtCar by California artist, Bob Castaneda. Titled "Radio Fire Wagon," this vehicle is based on the Radio Flyer wagon and is essentially a car-size version of the nostalgic red wagon.
Built from scratch, this ride has an open top with a seat and steering wheel inside the wagon for its driver. Another equally unique yet completely different artistically altered vehicle is by Houston artist, Brian Visker Mahanay. Entitled, "Oojah," this art car provides its driver the opportunity to sit inside the toothy mouth of a green, multi-eyed monster.
The majority of the artists who enter their cars in the weekend event are not local but from all around the country and enjoy driving their cars from city to city.
The largest ArtCar event in the world is located in Houston, Texas, and is Living Arts' inspiration for the way their own ArtCar weekend operates. This year, the event will feature 20 cars, each as unique as the event itself. In the past, the cars have been judged competitively but through the course of its six-year run, the event's organizers have done away with this component of the weekend. A People's Choice award does remain and is awarded at the ArtCar weekend's partner event, Art and Soul of Tulsa.
The cars will be traveling across Tulsa throughout the weekend, and there will be many opportunities for Tulsans to catch a glimpse of this unique exhibition. Beginning on Thursday, May 13, the ArtCars will be on display for an artists' reception and exhibition at the Living ArtSpace from 6 till 9pm.
On Friday, May 14, the ArtCars will be touring the Tulsa area schools from 9am to 2pm and will be displayed at Admiral Twin Drive-In at 8pm.
Finally, from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, May 15, the ArtCar convoy can be seen driving through Cherry Street, Woodward Park and Brookside before making their way downtown at 2pm.
The ArtCars will then be joining the Brady Arts Festival -- Art and Soul of Tulsa from 3pm to 9pm. The evening will be concluded back at Living ArtSpace from 9pm-2am for Rock-N-Rev ArtCar Fundraiser. The $5 admission to this final event helps enable Living Arts to bring ArtCar back to Tulsa each year. There will be drinks and live music for guests to celebrate what should likely be another successful ArtCar Weekend.
Operating alongside ArtCar weekend is the first annual Brady Arts Festival -- Art and Soul of Tulsa. Organized by Local Art Matters, this outdoor arts festival features the work of more than 50 local artists ranging from photography and painting to ceramics and jewelry.
Local Art Matters is an organization that began in 2007 with a vision of promoting the work of local artists and also encouraging local artists to stay in Tulsa and help make Tulsa a more recognizable art destination. As a way of encouraging younger artists to break into Tulsa's art scene, Local Art Matters is providing free booth space to students at local schools and colleges who have never shown their work before publicly.
The Brady Arts Festival will be held at the corner of Main Street and Brady in the heart of the Brady District. The event will be open from 12pm to 8pm on Friday, May 14, 10am to 8pm on Saturday, May 15 and 11am to 5pm on Sunday, May 16. In addition to a plethora of artwork on display, the Brady Arts Festival will feature a constant stream of live music including bands, such as, Rebecca Ungerman and Sam and the Stylees.
Both the Brady District and Local Art Matters are looking forward to making Art and Soul of Tulsa a yearly event for art enthusiasts and local artists.
In the future, Local Art Matters hopes to expand the event by working with Circle Cinema to make film part of the event. The organization also plans to incorporate unconventional art forms such as performance art, sketch performances and poetry readings.
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