Underground Photo Exhibit

OKC125 photo by MJ Alexander
A photo exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of Oklahoma City’s settlement will open with a public reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 in The Underground, a system of pedestrian tunnels and skyways in downtown Oklahoma City.

Curated by Romy Owens, OKC125 is a public exhibition of 125 photos of downtown Oklahoma City by 125 local artists.

Artists from Edmond, Norman and Oklahoma City were given disposable cameras and 125 minutes to photograph downtown. Owens selected one image from each roll of film to be printed, matted, framed, installed and lit as part of the exhibition. Participating artists will not discover which of their photos was selected until the public unveiling at the reception.

OKC125 photo by alyson atchison
[pullquote-right]”Art should be a more significant part of downtown culture.”[/pullquote-right]“Art should be a more significant part of downtown culture,” said OKC125 curator Romy Owens. “I love community, and Oklahoma City needs more artist opportunities, so I’m trying to lead by example with this collaborative exhibition that will hopefully introduce people to a unique piece of our city. Disposable cameras are a little unpredictable but produce interesting results.”

The artists could photograph anything they wanted as long as they stayed within the boundaries of downtown and suitable for public consumption. The boundaries included south of NW 13, east of Classen Boulevard, north of SW 3, west of I-235, and the Boathouse District.

Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889 when the land opening occurred for the central region of Oklahoma Territory.

The number 125 was selected for the end-of-year celebration as a mnemonic device, to help people remember the Dec. 5 date of the opening.

OKC125 photo by Dan Garrett
The Underground is a system of pedestrian tunnels and skyways in downtown Oklahoma City that spans from Sheridan Avenue to NW 4, and from Broadway to Hudson Avenue. The tunnel system – originally named The Conncourse after First Fidelity Bank CEO Jack Conn – was constructed for $1.3 million in the early 1970s as part of an agreement among downtown business owners, civic groups and the city. The Conncourse was renamed The Underground as part of a $1.9 million renovation in 2006-07 led by architect Rand Elliott.

The public may enter The Underground from any of the building entry points. The exhibition and reception will be located in the Red and Blue corridors. Leadership Square is the suggested entry point for those unfamiliar with The Underground.

The OKC125 exhibition will remain open during regular hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and for special events through Friday, Feb. 27.

OKC125 photo by Bryan Boone
Each photo on display will be available for purchase for $125. Artists retain 75 percent of the sale.

OKC125 sponsors include: Downtown OKC Inc., Bedford Camera & Video and the Deep Fork Restaurant Group.

For more information, including a full list of participating artists, visit: http://romyowens.com/#okc125

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