Downtown Miami will be a hive of activity Saturday, April 27 when the third annual Mural Fest 66 kicks off at 10 a.m. in the 100 block of South Main Street.
“It is going to bigger and better than ever and people are so excited about it. I’ve had people say they look forward to it every year and it is the best thing that has happened to Miami, as far as they are concerned,” Marcia Johnson, Director of the Library, Arts & Culture for the City of Miami, said Tuesday.
The event is a mural festival featuring local and regional artists, live performances, food trucks, an Art Market, and plenty of family activities where everyone will be able to find something exciting to take part in.
Hosted by officials with the Miami Arts & Humanities Council, the 66 Cultural District, the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Miami, the fest continues until 4 p.m. and will include artists painting four murals along 1st SW and five smaller murals along 1st SE in the 66 Cultural District.
“It is just a big, community-wide event that brings everybody together, but it also brings art alive and that’s an incredible thing we can offer to our community,” Johnson said. “In addition to the artists painting the murals, there will also be artists offering classes for those who want to create something while they are there and take it with them.”
Curated by the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate, nine artists will be involved, including Chris Mantle from Tulsa, who is popular for his unique Buffalo paintings; JURRI, an artist from Oklahoma City whose work is driven by faces, flora, Japanese motifs, and courage; Brady Scott, an artist from Kansas who draws inspiration from animals, people, history and prairie landscapes, and the Holey Kids, a masked duo from Oklahoma City who strive to explore the importance of connection/collaboration in all of their creations.
Other muralists will include Miami artist and muralist Jessica Stout, Virginia Sitzes, a printmaker and painter, Cassie Stover, an artist with an Oklahoma City-based art collective called Factory Obscura; PRINT PARTY, whose work is bold and includes layering colors and creating unexpected surface pattern combinations, and Kristopher Kanaly, whose work can be described as contemporary pop exhibiting a mix of abstract geometric patterns with layers of graffiti-inspired and space-themed influences.
Live performances will take place on Main Street in front of Route 66 Landing on the corner and will include the Miami Little Theatre presenting selections from their current play, “Route 66,” at 10 a.m., the Miami High School Band at 10:30 a.m., the Grand Lake Jazz Combo at 11:30 a.m., the Johnnie Zibert Band at 12:30 p.m., and the NEO Choir at 2:30 p.m.
A variety of food trucks and vendors will be spread out over three blocks. Among those that will be on hand are Pig Dig Barbeque, the Frozen Elephant, Chunky Monkey, Jumpin’ John’s Tacos, Sodexo, Pies to the People, Sweet Sarah’s Bakery, Not Your Grandma’s Cupcakes, the Mexican Wagon and Just Dawgs.
Family activities will include Rt. 66 Car Art, painting and adding some bling to a colorful car; a Discovery Zone where you can create a city using cardboard, markers, and more; a giant Jenga game; a cornhole game, and a huge slide for the little ones.
There will also be a special spot at the Route 66 Art Park across from the Coleman Theatre Pocket Park to take 2019 Mural Fest 66 photos and Mural Fest 66 t-shirts will be available for purchase.
The grand opening for the Art Park is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
“The Art Park isn’t totally finished…things don’t always go according to your timeline, but the way it will be set up when it is done will make it perfect for use for small outdoor cultural events in the future,” Johnson said.
There will also be an Art Market inside Miami Main, the Chamber of Commerce building, where regional artists will have booths displaying a variety of artwork.
Mural Fest is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Major sponsors include Integris Miami, Chapters Bookstore, First National Bank, Security Bank, Welch State Bank, Ace Hardware and Osborn Drugs.
The Hampton Inn, PowerUp Rental, and One-Eyed Dog are major in-kind sponsors.