The Greenwood Art Project is an expansive and robust collaboration among Tulsa creatives with expositions and events launching throughout the month, including a citywide poster project.
GAP received hundreds of submissions for the poster project, which was a chance to engage the city in the commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Greenwood District, says GAP Project Director Jerica Wortham.
“What that has created is a beautiful opportunity for people as young as 3 and 4 years old, but then also people as old as nearly 90, creating posters to commemorate the 1921 Race Massacre — to share their thoughts and feelings regarding Greenwood and what it looks like, past, present and future,” Wortham says. “It’s really an opportunity to engage everyone so that everyone can feel like they had a part in this process.”
The 11-by-17-inch posters will be on display downtown at businesses and on light poles, as well as in three designated exhibit spaces north of downtown: the corner of North Greenwood Avenue and East Pine Street, in the field near OETA on the Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus, and at “the steps to nowhere” north of Interstate 244, near East Haskell Place.
“They used to be people’s homes prior to (urban renewal), and they were never rebuilt due to zoning ordinances and different codes that were then put in place to ensure citizens were not able to rebuild in those spaces — so then they just became the steps to nowhere,” Wortham explains.
Every submitted poster will be on display in some form, Wortham says, whether that is in supporting business’ windows, at one of the installations or on the GAP Google Art and Culture page.
Wortham and the creatives behind the project hope the support extends beyond downtown. GAP is working with the Downtown Coordinating Council to light the skyline green to recognize the project on May 26.
Tulsa was one of five cities selected for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, which provided up to $1 million in funding for temporary public art projects addressing important civic issues. The lead artist on the project is Rick Lowe, a professor of art at the University of Houston, and many of the participating artists and organizations are from Tulsa, commissioned to create work representing and reflecting Greenwood in all facets.
Visit greenwoodartproject.org for more information and for a full list of upcoming events.
The GAP Van is a mobile art exhibit that travels around Tulsa, inviting residents to be a part of the poster project with their own creations in partnership with the PBS American Portrait Project. Its name is a reference to the iconic R&B and funk band The Gap Band, named after the streets Greenwood, Archer and Pine. Visit facebook.com/GreenwoodArtProject for upcoming appearances.
Greenwood Art Project events
“The Greenwood Experience” at Greenwood Leadership Academy opens. The art is an ode to the dreamers, risk-takers and pioneers that built the Greenwood community. Greenwood Leadership Academy, 1789 W. Seminole St.
Urban Coders Guild student cohorts launch their collection of websites and accompanying mobile app for businesses lost in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. 1921blackwallstreetdirectory.com
“SLICK,” a book and public art project, opens. It features artist notes and
modified archival images of Tulsa and greater Oklahoma from before, during and after the Massacre, alongside work by invited authors. ahha, 101 E. Archer St.
The DarkTown Strutters Ball reflects the period leading up to the Massacre in language, costume, design, setting, music and dance. Greenwood Cultural Center, 320 N. Greenwood Ave.
Deborah A. Richards’ and Alexander Tamahn’s “Greenwood Ceramic
Storytelling Project” launches, on display outside Fulton Street Books and Coffee, 210 W. Latimer St.; Poppi’s Spa and Lounge, 302 S. Frankfort Ave., Suite C; and Silhouette Sneakers and Art, 10 N. Greenwood Ave., Suite C
Chuck Cissel presents an evening of “All That Jazz and Blues on Deep Greenwood.” Admiral Twin Drive-In, 7355 E. Easton St.
Jessica Harvey’s creations will be on display in various locations as part of “Trace,” a project dedicated to marking significant locations in the Greenwood District and on Main Street. Downtown
TheRese Anderson-Aduni’s “Rebuilding Black Wall Street Documentary: My Story” plays at dusk, depicting home movies from Greenwood in the 1940s-1950s. Admiral Twin Drive-In, 7355 E. Easton St.
Ari Christopher and Tulsa Modern Movement present “This Car Up,” a public installation that asks the viewer to question the nature of perception. TBA
Jimmy Friday’s “Greenwood — Black Wall Street” opens, displaying collages of significant people and places of the Greenwood District. Skyline Mansion, 620 N. Denver Ave.; poster exhibition areas
“Fire in Little Africa,” a compilation hip-hop album featuring more than 60 Oklahoma artists, launches on digital platforms. fireinlittleafrica.com
Anthony Curtis Brinkley, Ebony Iman Dallas and Derick Tinsley use video, murals, live spoken word, singing and acting to present the Greenwood that was, what happened to it and what it could have been. Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Reconciliation Way
The 2021 Centennial Parade steps off at 11 a.m., honoring the heritage, history and hope of the Greenwood District in the spirit of Black Wall Street. John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, 321 N. Elgin Ave.
“RELEASE ME, the Spirits of Greenwood Speak” anthology launches, sharing a collection of stories through visual art and the written word. Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Reconciliation Way
Sarah Ahmad’s “The American Dream” is built around a refugee tent such as those used following the Massacre; it will be transformed with marigold flowers, placed in a forest and filled with archival photographs of the rubble. Oxley Nature Center, 6700 Mohawk Blvd.
May 31-June 1
The Fire Sculpture Project is an outdoor woodfired clay sculpture seeking to honor the lives and legacy of those who built Black Wall Street. 2613 E. 29th Place N. (approximate address)