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Greater Tulsa Reporter

45th Annual Mayfest Begins May 18

TRIBUTE TO TULSA: The 2017 Mayfest poster, called The Bonds of Time, was created by local artist Matthew Bearden. The painting is acrylic on canvas and includes the Tulsa skyline behind trees forming the outline of a bison.

Courtesy Mayfest

Mayfest returns for its 45th year on May 18-21 in downtown Tulsa. More than 350,000 people are expected to line the streets, viewing indoor and outdoor exhibits of over 100 artists.

In addition to its outdoor vendors, Mayfest will include three indoor galleries: the Invitational Gallery, Youth Art Gallery and Pop Art Music Gallery.

The Invitational Gallery will showcase art for sale from over 100 of Tulsa’s finest artists in oil, metal, photography, and other specialties. The gallery will also offer the official Mayfest poster art for purchase.

Mayfest’s Youth Art Gallery will display a wide variety of art from young ones with awards given for the best budding artists.

Returning for its second year is the Pop Art Music Gallery. The art created in this gallery is from fifth and sixth graders at Hawthorne Elementary, which has no art program at the school.

The students received art instruction in various mediums during a five-week after-school art program offered by Tulsa International Mayfest, in partnership with WPX Energy and the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa. Lauren Lunsford, artist in residence at the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, provided the art instruction, with the theme of the classes revolving around music and pop art.

The Pop Art Music Gallery will be open in the Downtown YMCA at 418 S. Main St. May 13–22.

About the Mayfest Poster and Artist
This year’s poster is called The Bonds of Time and was created by local artist Matthew Bearden. The painting is acrylic on canvas and includes the Tulsa skyline behind trees forming the outline of a bison.

Bearden, a native of Hominy, is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He also attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He has shown his work throughout the southwest and in New York City. Bearden received the grand prize in two juried competitions and exhibits his work in permanent collections at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, Tulsa First Baptist Church and the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

“The idea was to try to paint something that existed here long before [the area] was known as Tulsa,” Bearden says. “I wanted to show a cluster of local trees grown together in a way that represented something notable from the past – and I thought that should be a bison.”

The original artwork, worth approximately $2,000, will be on display at the Invitational Gallery and will be raffled off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 on the Bartlett Square Stage.

Raffle tickets cost $10. Tickets are currently available at and at Zeigler Art and Frame.

Updated 05-16-2017

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