All posts by Kendall Whittier

Kendall Whittier Walls brings vibrancy, color to neighborhood

The Kendall Whittier neighborhood saw five walls transformed into colorful public murals that promote the neighborhood’s diversity, history and funkiness as part of the Kendall Whittier Walls project.

The program was presented by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation with the objective to create vibrant places, attractive destinations and civic pride through public art in Kendall Whittier.

“I love how the Walls turned out,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Kendall Whittier Main Street. “It was a joy to work with the artists, as well as partner Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, to see these walls transformed and these public spaces created.”

Four artists – hailing from the Tulsa area and neighboring states – painted the five murals during the month of May. Two murals are along 11th Street, two on are Admiral Boulevard and one is on Lewis Avenue.

The following walls and artists were selected:

  • Ziegler Frame and Art, 6 N. Lewis Ave., “Face the Day ” by John Hammer
  • Selfie Wall, 2411 E. Admiral Blvd., “Selfie Wall” by Ghazal Ghazi
  • Route 66 Wall, 1906 E. 11th St., “Sike Style on Route 66” by Phil Shafer, Sike Style
  • Bearden Plumbing, 2424 E. 11th St., “Homage to the Working Class” by Brady Scott
  • San Miguel School, 2444 E. Admiral Blvd., “Buena Ondo (Good Vibes)” by Brady Scott

“Face the Day” is a splash of color on a previously green wall. Featuring four brightly-colored faces with large eyes that artist calls “peculiar portrayals,” the mural is a mere representation of Hammer’s imagination. “There is no meaning behind the figures,” he said.

Visible to pedestrian traffic along Admiral, “Selfie Wall” brings visitors face-to-face with a woman of Hispanic descent in a starry background. It advances the “narratives of diverse communities whose stories and needs have historically been marginalized,” Ghazi said of her work.

“Sike Style on Route 66” is the projects largest wall, displayed prominently on 11th Street with vibrant colors and symbols of the iconic Mother Road. With so many little features, including the Route 66 shield, a map of Oklahoma featuring the Route, arrowheads and even the artist’s name in cactus, this mural is a little different each time it’s viewed.

The other mural on 11th Street is a different take on a throwback to the past. “This concept is a homage to the working laborers that built this country during the Industrial Revolution,” Scott stated. Featuring a plumber in black and white with a red wrench and a flowing American flag pattern behind him, this mural speaks to the business’ 100-year history.

“Buena Onda” is meant to be a dream landscape with southwestern sunsets, blooming roses and praying hand in bright pastel colors and native patterns. “I wanted this mural to speak to the beautiful and mostly Hispanic neighborhood of central Tulsa,” the artist said.

The project began in the fall of 2018 with an all-call to artists to submit their qualifications. The Walls committee narrowed down the artists from 34 to a Top 5.

“Those five artists were given details about each wall, including dimensions, location, budget and any theme we might have been looking for,” Jackson said. “The artists submitted their design ideas, we paid them a small stipend for their time, and then the committee had another tough decision – which amazing designs to choose!”

Artists were notified in April of their commissioned pieces and completed them the following month. Plans for a Kendall Whittier Walls map, potential merchandising and potential tours are in the works between Kendall Whittier Main Street and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation.

“We just want to share these beautiful pieces with the rest of Tulsa,” Jackson said. “We encourage everyone to visit them and really look at the intricate details of the designs. They will really blow you away.

And those choose to snap a photo to share on social media should use the hashtag, #KendallWhittierWalls.

Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. Kendall Whittier is a Certified Cultural District.

For more information about the Kendall Whittier Walls or Kendall Whittier Main Street, call Jessica Jackson at 918-633-1934 or email info@visitkendallwhittier.com.

After Five combines music, art and activity

A sea of pavement is turned into a park, music fills the air and people gather in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood “after five” one evening a month during Kendall Whittier After Five, coming up next on June 13.

“After Five brings the community together and gives people an opportunity to enjoy the neighborhood in the evening,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Kendall Whittier Main Street. “The astroturf park just adds to the ambience.”

During After Five, many of the businesses stay open late with art exhibits, activities or specials. After Five is the second Thursday of the month from May through October and ties in with the AKWA Art Walk, which takes place on the second Thursday all year round.

The event kicks off with free yoga in the Whittier Square parking lot, which is covered in astroturf especially for the event, at 5:30 p.m. Rachel Moss takes attendees through the one-hour restorative yoga routine that’s perfect for all fitness levels.

A Kendall Whittier Walls Mural Mini Tour will commence at 6:30 p.m. following yoga. This free mini tour explores the Walls project and the five newly completed murals in the Kendall Whittier district. Guests will get to visit three right there in the Square area and hear from two of the artists directly.

The tour is free and open to the public. Posters displaying all five murals will be available for viewing throughout After Five.

Kendall Whittier After Five finishes out the night with a live performance by Desi and Cody on stage from 7:30-9 p.m. The Tulsa duo combine folk-inspired bluegrass melodies with a rock based sound, creating one-of-a-kind music that leaves you wanting more.

A free Kids Zone features chalk art, drawing on a brand new vehicle, sports activities, hula hoops, bubbles and inflatable darts. Four-legged friends, secured on a leash, are welcome as well; water and treats will be provided.

For a break from warm weather, the Art Walk provides an opportunity to view one-of-a-kind art and visit various businesses. Some activities include but are not limited to:

“There’s a little something for everyone,” Jackson said. “We just want people to come out and see what Kendall Whittier is all about, visit the businesses and enjoy the evening with us.”

Kendall Whittier After Five is sponsored by Fowler Automotive and Williams Energy.

Join the conversation and get updates on Kendall Whittier After Five with the Facebook event!

After Five is the second Thursday of the month, featuring different art, activities and musical acts. Upcoming After Five events are July 11, August 8, September 12 and October 10.

Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. Kendall Whittier is a Certified Cultural District.

For more information about the Kendall Whittier After Five or Kendall Whittier Main Street, call or text Jessica Jackson at 918-633-1934 or email info@visitkendallwhittier.com.

Mercado features a unique, multi-cultural shopping experience

Whittier Square fills with diverse art and textiles, Latin music, vibrant colors and local flare 12 Saturdays a year for the open-art market dubbed Mercado.

Kendall Whittier Mercado, a twice-a-month multi-cultural outdoor artisan market, provides authentic merchandise to customers and supports local entrepreneurs. To add even more fun, it kicks off each time with free Zumba.

In Whittier Square at the corner of Admiral and Lewis, Mercado runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first and third Saturday’s of the month from May through October. Free Zumba starts at 10 a.m. and runs about one hour.

“Mercado was started three years ago as a way to celebrate and highlight the Hispanic culture that makes our neighborhood so vibrant and the cultural diversity that makes our city so wonderful,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Kendall Whittier Main Street, the event’s host.

While many vendors showcase wares from south of the border, past years have seen vendors selling African pottery, Native American jewelry, and arts and crafts from various cultures.

“It’s a unique shopping experience that truly crosses cultural boundaries,” Jackson said.

Free Zumba just offers one more experience to folks attending Mercado. Blanca Sandoval’s Zumba class is great for beginners and more experienced dancers alike. Participants can plan to join the whole time or just for a little bit.

Dates for 2019 are May 4 and 18, June 1 and 15, July 6 and 20, August 3 and 17, September 7 and 21 and October 5 and 19. Mercado is sponsored by Fowler Automotive.

Vendor space for the remainder of the season is still available. Authentic expressions of art and craft spanning all cultures are welcome at Kendall Whittier Mercado. A vendor fee of $25 per week is due prior to setting up. Applications in both English and Spanish are available online here.

For more information about the Kendall Whittier Mercado, English speakers should call or text Jessica Jackson at 918-633-1934 or email info@visitkendallwhittier.com, and Spanish speakers should call or text Monica Poblete at 918-282-9867.

Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. Kendall Whittier is a Certified Cultural District.