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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Mayfest an Annual Favorite Event in Tulsa


SPRINGTIME ART: Present at the unveiling of this year’s Mayfest art are, from left, Heather Pingry, Mayfest executive director; Carla Hammer, wife of 2018 Mayfest poster artist John Hammer; Krystal Grizzle, Mayfest programs coordinator; Bruce Smith, Mayfest festival chair; and John Hammer, 2018 Mayfest poster artist.


Courtesy photo


Mayfest is an annual favorite event in Tulsa. A main aspect of the popularity is the yearly poster. This year’s artwork, by artist John Hammer, was different. For the first time, the poster artist created two separate works of art.  Being a graphic designer, he then combined the two to create the final poster.  Springtime Melodies is a 40×30 acrylic on canvas. The painting features tulips and guitars.

A New Day Yesterday is a 40×30 Acrylic on canvas. The painting features abstract colors that represent spring,

Hammer was born in Texas and grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, and Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He now lives in Claremore and was one of the inaugural Studio Artists at The Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa. He holds a degree in graphic design from OSUIT in Okmulgee. As a young artist, he most enjoyed the art of pencil and ink drawings and used these hand skills in his early career before moving into the computer technology that took over the design field. In 2012, he began painting. In a variety of subject matter, his design background and love of color stand out in a style described as “pop impressionism.” As Hammer follows his fine art vision, the goals are to keep his art diverse and his expressions varied. He says, “I’ll always paint and pursue new mediums, but I won’t forget my first love…the pencil.”

Hammer says, “When I think of Mayfest, three things come to mind: springtime, music and art. ‘Springtime Melodies’ is my way of capturing those three things. The tulips and swirling blue skies represent the beginnings of new life that spring brings. The guitars are a big part of the sound of Mayfest. And all of these things being captured in a painting represent the art of Mayfest.

“I also wanted to highlight abstract art this year. It is an art form that allows viewers to create their own interpretations and feelings about what the art represents.” “A New Day Yesterday” captures both the color of spring and the movement of music. Both paintings were combined along with custom type to create this year’s poster art.

Updated 05-17-2018

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