FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2020
Inquiries: Emma Kratochwill, Executive Director – SW 29th District Association, Inc.
(405) 513-2184 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Oklahoma City, OK- June 8, 2020) On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the SW 29th District Association inaugurated its first Citysanctioned public art project, fittingly named La 29 Mural 1 – La Historia (The History). The painting, a work led by local artist Narciso Argüelles, is displayed on the east-facing wall of Jose’s Transmission Shop at the northwest corner of SW 29th Street and S. Western.
Oklahoma resident and Chicano Artist Narciso Argüelles designed and painted the mural, which is over 1,000 square feet, with assistance of select emerging artists. One standout student, Angel Rodriguez, who attended OCCC, lives a few blocks from the site and is a former pupil of Argüelles. Argüelles’ vision was to express four significant time periods in Mexican history and culture, including part of the Aztec history, the lowrider and cholo movement, and the iconic Frida Kahlo. “I wanted to give Oklahoma City ‘southsiders’ something with which they could identify. I hope this will inspire young artists to find places in their community where they can create tangible representations of their heritage for the public to see.” stated Argüelles.
The location of the mural, Jose’s Transmission shop, is particularly significant. Owner, Jose Realzola, from Durango, Mexico, has been fueling the OKC economy for almost 30 years. He gleefully agreed to host the mural stating “La 29 is so important to our City. It was nothing like this when I started here. The Hispanic community is what MADE La 29. I’m glad to hear the City is bringing capital improvements this way.” A few years after he opened the transmission shop, they started Berta’s Mexican Buffet for his wife, half a block east on SW 29th. There are now two Berta’s Buffets in OKC, not to mention his ownership of event centers and multiple soccer league enterprises, which he and his sons manage.
The SW 29th Street business corridor, which has become the SW 29th District | La 29, is part of the City’s Commercial District Revitalization Program (CDRP), which funded the mural. Stretching more than three miles long, from S. May to S. Shields, it boasts one of the strongest revenue centers for the City. The mural location is on one of the Latino community’s busiest intersections. “Murals become the visible expression of our local culture and represents our love for our City. Through works of public art we remind ourselves and say to the rest of the world that our community is valuable and we want everyone to know about this singular place and our past, present, and future”, said Robbie Kienzle, Arts & Cultural Affairs Liaison and Program Planner.
Mural 1 has begun to draw attention from all generations on social media with official Facebook and Instagram check-in options. “Marketing and promotion are an essential part what we do for the hundreds of merchants in this vibrant district. Being able to combine the power of social media and this one-of-a-kind cultural gem helps us highlight the uniqueness of La 29.” stated Emma Kratochwill, Executive Director for the District. The committee for Mural 2 is underway.
The District will be publishing a series of features on the artists, the Realzola family and photoshoot participants across its social media and website during the month of June, including Argüelles latest multicultural and international projects. Details for Mural 2 and how the community can participate are also forthcoming.
About SW 29th Street – The SW 29th District Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which actively seeks to establish a collective voice for the interests in the SW 29th Street business district area, develop goals and implement programs for better community and commerce.