Durant Main Street hosts first mural competition

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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) This alley off Main street will soon be filled with colorful murals painted by local artists of all levels.

"We already have quite a few murals that we want people to check out. So we're hoping this art alley is an extension of some of those individual murals that have popped up across downtown," said director of Durant Main Street, Stephanie Gardner.

Jessica Heath's interactive mural was inspired by the community.

"This is the by far largest project I've ever worked on. I've done a few large canvas pieces, but as far as murals I've never done outdoor pieces. So it was a big challenge for me, but it was a lot of fun," said Heath.

Cory Cooper is a seasoned mural artist for Downtown Durant.

"This contest is just a way for me to give back to Durant. I've done several murals around here. I've been doing murals since probably the 90s. This is really not so much about the competition than it is just having something here," said Cooper.

Gardner says one downtown investor has been planning this contest for years.

"He just really wanted to beautify it and he thought what better way than a mural competition," she said.

12 adult artists were chosen to complete a mural along with 5 students for the chance to win $1,000. The 5 by 10 foot panels will be put on display for the first, in-person First Friday in Durant on June 5th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

"It's falling at a really great time. People are ready to get back outside to get out shopping and seeing each other, so we're trying to do that in a safe way. But people can stroll down, look at the murals and keep at a safe distance," said Gardner.