The Edmond Sun


February 25, 2014

Sidewalk chalk can earn an artist money

ALTUS — The name “Banksy” is used by a mysterious street artist from the United Kingdom who frequently comes to the United States to draw in public places on walls and sidewalks. Banksy has been to New York City and New Orleans and in recent years his reported presence in those communities resulted in a what appeared to be treasure hunts that were covered by the media in which groups of people went out and searched for the work he had done.  

When his often whimsical visual creations are found, people with cell phone cameras materialize at the site to record them before they are washed away by clean-up crews.

As chronicled in a recent article in the New York Times, visitors to one of Banksy’s images in Manhattan found it encased in plexiglass in an effort to preserve it. The New York Times reporter also marveled at the fact that Banksy has managed to keep his identity secret despite the popularity of his work.

There have also been reports of Banksy working in smaller American communities and students of his art have recently been asked to ascertain if drawings done in those places could have been made by him.  

Like many successful artists, Banksy has spawned imitators, some of whom use social media such as instagram and twitter to publicize their etchings on public places. Some of those images are now found on the walls of art galleries in New York City and other  locales.  

One such artist uses the name “Hanksy” and draws on walls and sidewalks images of people and animals. It is possible that Banksy and the other street artists that he has inspired are responsible for the popularity of events such as the “Walkin’ on Chalk” gathering that will be held in the town square of Altus April 13.

 According to Amy Jo Cobb of the Altus Main Street Association, which is hosting the  gathering, artists of various ages will pay $5 and will then draw in chalk on the sidewalks of the square. Judges will award cash prizes in several different categories.

The event has been held for several years and each year there are more participants, Cobb reports. The event will also include banners that are made by students at Altus High School that will be on buildings on the square and will also be judged. The photos of some of the drawings that were done last year that are featured on the Altus Main Street website are indicative of some of the unheralded artistic talent that are found in Oklahoma’s smaller communities and it may be that some of those works will make there way to art galleries devoted to street art via cell phone images.

William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.

Text Only
  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results