Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tonkawa - Painting Begins

Under overcast skies with temperatures in the low 60's, we set-up the paint table with brand new quart containers of Nova Color paint in hopes of enticing passersby to apply the first colored strokes to the mural. There were only a few curious onlookers when we began at 5:30 and still no one brave enough to make the first mark.
photo by Irene Ackerson
But as people got off of work and word spread of free homemade desserts, they started showing up - a gaggle of kids on bmx bikes, a family with grandma, folks from the Tonkawa Tribe, and even a few high school students who concluded, I imagine, that the mural was cool enough. And they kept coming. An hour later there was a real crowd, for Tonkawa, (over eighty people by our count) painting, watching, eating cupcakes and apple crisp, and playing games and chalk drawing in the middle of blocked off Grand Street.

The practical task for 'community painting days' was to block-in big areas of color that form the background shapes within the mural design. Anyone who wanted to, or who lingered too long watching, was handed a brush and directed toward a specific area to fill-in.
photo by Irene Ackerson
Inviting the community to paint was also an opportunity for mural design team
participants to share with other townsfolk the genesis of the imagery in the design and how it related to the spirit of Tonkawa's past, present, and future.

Among the many local people who came out during community paint days were beloved local artist Gene Dougherty,

Tonkawa police officer Travis Painter (yes Painter),

local fashion mavens Michelle and Wiladean,

and Gordon Warrior with four generations of his family.

After painting wound down and the sun set, more than sixty people made their way over to the field behind Dollar General for popcorn and a free outdoor movie

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