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Urban renewal

Historic buildings across the metro get a face-lift in a mixed-media group show for DNA Galleries’ third anniversary.

Charles Martin October 26th, 2011

Despite the ravages of time and neglect, iconic buildings help give the city its spiritual backbone, and are the subject of a multimedia group exhibition at DNA Galleries.

“As our city grows and expands, people are wanting more public art,” co-owner Amanda Bradway said. “We were walking around downtown one day, thinking about all the different buildings that have been sold, gutted out or demolished. We thought it would be cool to capture this moment in our history by picking photos of buildings and giving them to artists to customize ... to show the potential for public art.”

Photographic prints were given to dozens of artists to add their own flourish, with whatever medium and no rules.

Buildings chosen for the show include the HiLo Club, Duncan’s Bindery and the Classen Boulevard milk bottle.

Ashley Smith produced two works for the exhibition, using a red Sharpie to make tattoo-style illustrations over the prints.

“The milk bottle is almost like an idol on Classen and 23rd,” Smith said, “a beacon on the corner of chaos.”

Smith hopes “Building Art” reminds people about metro buildings taken for granted or not utilized to their full potential.

“Hopefully, it will give (them) a new viewpoint on their surroundings,” she said. “Yes, we all know the milk bottle building, but what if it was gone? We would miss it. We need to appreciate these buildings and pay attention to what is happening with/to them. Make sure they are a part of the future of OKC.”

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