Exhibit uses art to portray Oklahoma City's transformation through MAPS

The event, at Individual Artists Gallery, begins Friday and is staged as a celebration of the original vote on the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS).
Oklahoman Modified: February 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm •  Published: February 18, 2014

Documenting through collaboration with his students, University of Oklahoma professor Todd Stewart will presents photographs and ephemera of Oklahoma City’s North Canadian River.

Richard McKown, an artist who also developed the Level Apartments and Mosaic Apartments in Deep Deuce, believes the upcoming exhibit will help show how art can enhance a city’s development. His paintings portray the three mayors he sees as key to MAPS and the Oklahoma City renaissance — Mayors Ron Norick, Kirk Humphreys and Mick Cornett.

“The reason I got into development had to do with the economics of art and the role arts plays in great cities,” McKown said.

“Think of ancient Greece with all that artwork we visit to see today. Tourism is so important to Athens, Rome, Egypt, Paris and Venice, and they all have these things that people make to celebrate their culture, their history and their spiritual identity.”

McKown sees the Oklahoma City MAPS story in terms of the rebuilding of ancient Greece, in which devastated temples and the legendary Acropolis were rebuilt and the city rose again and flourished.

“Art attracts other people to the area,” McKown said.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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The reason I got into development had to do with the economics of art and the role arts plays in great cities.”

Richard McKown,

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