Miami, Oklahoma, wanted to add some murals to brighten up the Route 66 town.
Thanks to the inaugural Mural Fest 66 last month, it added five murals to the city during a weekend.
Here’s a video of highlights from the festival:
According to a story by columnist Marta Churchwell in the Joplin Globe, the festival wasn’t meant to simply make Route 66 more attractive to travelers:
As an effort of the Miami Arts and Humanities Council, the 66 Cultural District and the city, the festival was intended, in part, to promote Route 66. But more so, it was a step toward development of a downtown arts and cultural district to reflect the community’s history, showcase its arts and culture and attract more visitors.
Buildings in the 500 block of East Central were selected as mural sites to help rejuvenate the area and promote the street as a pedestrian friendly thoroughfare connecting downtown and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, said Teresa Karleskint, a board member of the 66 Cultural District. […]
At Miami, the public was invited to brush a few strokes of paint onto the murals. It was an example of the social engagement the city intended to promote through development of an arts and cultural district. It also instills greater pride in the project when the public has its hands in it.
According to the Miami News-Record:
The murals were created by Oklahoma City artists Jason Pawley, Dylan Bradway, Denise Duong and Kris Kanaly along with NEO Art Instructor Jessica Stout incorporating some of her students. The unique, oversized pieces can be viewed along buildings on the 500 East Central block, the old Miami Animal Alliance Shelter building, and a wall of the former Coca-Cola bottling company.
Because the event was such a success, Miami is planning a Mural Fest 66 next year.
(Image of one of the creations from the Mural Fest 66 via Facebook)