By Conrad Dudderar
A public art mural will be painted on the side of a Main Street building to promote tourism and walkability in downtown Yukon.
The Yukon City Council has approved a “formalized agreement” between the Yukon 66 Main Street Association and the City of Yukon to install the mural at 528 W Main – a two-story building that now houses the Yukon Main Street office.
The Yukon 66 Main Street Association has been awarded a $3,500 Keep Oklahoma Beautiful grant to help fund the 21-foot by 50-foot cultural mural on the east-facing façade of the City-owned property.
The free-standing building is just west of Yukon City Hall on historic Route 66 in downtown Yukon.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to further public art in our downtown,” Yukon Main Street Director Vicki Davis said. “This particular project would meet both of our transformation strategies for the downtown district.
“One is cultural heritage/tourism, which is driving tourism to our town by promoting our cultural heritage. The other is walkability of downtown.”
The building is adjacent to the City of Yukon’s public parking lot.
The timing is “perfect” to install this large wall mural, Yukon’s Main Street director said.
“We’re getting closer to our 100-year anniversary of Route 66,” Davis noted.
Estimated project cost is $15,000.
“It’s a pretty hefty budget,” Davis added.
No City of Yukon funds will be used, so Yukon Main Street board members must raise money beyond the $3,500 grant to cover the cost.
Funds are being generated through Main Street projects like adopt-a-bench, Yukon Salutes’ banners and downtown events.
LOTS OF BENEFITS
The mural agreement with the City of Yukon was signed by Judy K. Austin, president of the Yukon 66 Main Street Association.
Association representatives approached Yukon city officials about installing the mural on the east side of the 528 W Main building “to improve aesthetics, provide the opportunity to educate and inspire, reduce stress, calm traffic, increase tourism, increase property values, and provide economic development opportunities within the City,” the agreement reads.
Meanwhile, the City of Yukon “desires to edify the presence of public art in the downtown district” by allowing this public art display.
Yukon city officials will have “final design approval over any public art mural” installed on the property and “will not allow any work depicting anything racist, sexist, explicit, profane in nature, or which promotes drug use,” according to the agreement.
The Yukon Route 66 Main Street Association will seek qualified contractors to install the mural by circulating a “call to artists.”
“We do want to target a ‘high-end’ artist,” Davis said. “The square footage is tremendous to maximize that space, so passers-by will see more of the mural.
“We want to use the whole side of the building.”
The Yukon Main Street Association will be responsible for maintenance and repair of the mural while it is on the wall of the Main Street building.
“The artwork will display a unique depiction of Yukon’s rich cultural heritage that prompts motorists to stop, pedestrians to utilize the connecting public parking lot and become another of Route 66’s recognizable ‘bucket list’ stops along the route,” Davis said.