The strip of 11th Street between Peoria and Lewis avenues has practically bloomed with new businesses, eye-popping murals and even a 21-foot space cowboy named Buck. The previously forgotten stretch of Route 66 is slowly being revamped, thanks in part to the community of entrepreneurs, artists and bon vivants who have taken up residence.
A local artist and musician, Jeremiah Anthamatten was looking for a more public place to not only create his art, but also to show it.
"Painting is so isolating, so I found this retail space, and I was able to get into it," Anthamatten said. When Anthamatten opened his studio about three years ago, most of the spaces that flanked him were boarded up, and crime was persistent. Now, every unit is filled with new life.
Anthamatten’s studio, which will soon go under the moniker "Studio 66," has become a collaborative space, featuring local artists and vendors. The spirit of collaboration has become strong within this small group of kindred spirits along this newly-settled piece of the famous route.
"We all have our own personal agenda for the kind of business we want to run, but I think everyone has the same kind of concept in their head, that if we all work together, we can do something awesome while helping each other," Anthamatten said.
When towering space cowboy and Tulsa’s newest eligible bachelor, Buck Atom, landed at his new home at Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66, he brought with him crowds of curious onlookers and, hopefully, a new fan base for the new-and-improved route. The big block party held in his honor inspired the local businesses to make it a more regular occurrence, and they are planning their second Route 66 Market for July 6.
Vendors like Good Mischief, The Nap Nook, and Fannie’s Attic will be selling handcrafted and vintage items, while live music and chalk art for the kids will round out the area in front of Buck Atom’s and gourmet popsicle shop, The Pop House.
Across the street, Anthematten’s studio will host live painting by local artist Scott Taylor, and will feature clay-crafted pieces from Foxypots. The Joseph Gierek Gallery next door will also be showing the newest Route 66 Group Show, featuring a variety of art depicting the vibrant spirit of America’s famous thoroughfare. Upscale consignment shop, SoBoCo, will be having a sidewalk sale, perfect for picking up that must-have ensemble or to-die-for accessory.
The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will roll through the afternoon until 3 p.m. and is located among the group of shops just east of Peoria Avenue on 11th Street in the Meadow Gold District. And if maps aren’t your thing, just keep driving down 11th until you see a handsome space cowboy smiling at you from 21 feet above.