Posted on July 31, 2017 by Kirsten Holder in The West
For two days this summer, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum visitors witnessed the installation of a major art exhibition as it unfolded. On June 23 – 24, 2017, Oklahoma artist John Salame installed his window mural above the doors to the Museum’s main entrance.
For years, Museum staff aspired to be more involved in the local art scene and community; thus leading to the partnership with an up-and-coming local artist to create a modern depiction of the American West capturing visitors the moment they arrive. The mural, “Comin’ Home,” takes many of its cues from the iconic Monument Valley as well as the Museum’s midcentury modern architectural design.
Salame’s family and friends kept him company throughout the grueling, 26-hour process, providing the encouragement and support he needed to complete the grandiose project. The mural, both geometric and colorful, is far different from anything else visitors expect to see in the Museum’s galleries.
“I really wanted a strong female presence in it because I didn’t see that in a lot of the Western art I came across,” Salame said. “That’s why she is the biggest character in it. Everything is going around her sightline.”
As Oklahoma City’s art culture continues to grow and thrive, it is crucial to teach upcoming generations about the importance of art while stimulating interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. The mural remains on display through September 5, 2017.
“The West means something different to everyone and there’s a place for everyone here,” said Kirsten Holder, the Museum’s Senior Marketing Manager. “Whether you’ve been to the Museum once as a kid or every year since it opened, we encourage the community to see what’s new at the Museum and to Find Their West.”