Vibrant, modern murals come to life this weekend
• Meet the artists tonight
September 24, 2021
The mural artists working in Alva this weekend have much in common. They work with a palette of bold, primary colors and they favor modern graphic designs. However, each has a particular style.
Kelly and Ty Tompkins, Hive Appeal
Kelly and Ty Tompkins of Enid favor huge colorful flowers. The couple signs their work as Hive Appeal, and that's the name of their website. In addition to painting murals, the pair engages in creative place-making which involves local artists and makers of all kinds to turn public spaces into places where people want to be.
The artists began painting the mural on the north side of the Farmers' Co-op building downtown earlier this week, outlining the design and painting the background. They like to get an early start in case of weather delays.
Tox Murillo of Enid is self-taught and started out doing graffiti. Although he has produced canvases, he currently concentrates on murals and designs on vehicles. His preferred tools are spray cans and the airbrush. Many of Murillo's designs incorporate familiar faces from movies, television and music. His detailed images bring people and animated characters to life on walls.
Tulsa native Jake Beeson's art is inspired by music, graffiti and comic book characters. He uses clean lines and vibrant colors. His paintings often include balloons with exclamations like "Bam" and "Pow." In addition to murals, Beeson produces art prints which he offers on his website.
Meet the Artists
The Northwest Mural Fest officially begins tonight, Sept. 24, with an opportunity to meet the artists. Members of the community are encouraged to stop by Graceful Arts in Alva to enjoy refreshments and talk with the mural artists about their work. The artists will also have some of their work available for sale.
5K and Fun Run
Saturday begins with the 5K and Fun Run. Early registration is available today at the Alva Chamber, or participants can register the morning of the run on the downtown square. There's a $20 entry fee which includes a free t-shirt and a medal. The 5K route will pass by more than 30 of Alva's murals, including the sites of the three new murals being painted.
Painting, Food and Music
Throughout the day, the public is invited to walk or drive by the three murals sites to watch the progress. Murals are located on the south wall of City Hall at 4th and Barnes, the north wall of the Farmers' Co-op Supply across the street on Barnes and on the Exotic Heatwave building located just south of Oklahoma Boulevard on Noble Street.
Food trucks will be available downtown to encourage you to linger a while. Beginning at 11 a.m. there will be live music on the square until about 2 p.m.
Saturday is also Family Day at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The football game will kick-off at 6 p.m.
Sunday Mural Signing
Sunday afternoon the artists will finish and sign their work. Signings are at 1 p.m. at City Hall, 1:20 p.m. at the Farmers' Co-op Supply Store and 1:40 p.m. at Exotic Heatwave.
When the artists go home, their murals will remain to delight Alva residents and visitors. The three new murals will provide a colorful vibrant contrast to the historic murals already in place. Their street-level locations will make great backgrounds for selfies as well.
The Alva Mural Society is the sponsor for the Northwest Mural Fest. Donations help them pay for the murals throughout Alva. Money from Alva tourism tax funds helped pay for some of the expenses of the Northwest Mural Fest.