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Steve Lackmeyer likes the Bricktown octopus mural now…

11:21 AM EST on November 29, 2016

steve lackmeyer

Back in June, Steve Lackmeyer learned that local artist Jack Fowler, the nephew of TLO's Louis Fowler, was commissioned to paint a giant octopus mural on a big blank wall in Bricktown.

Because the mural didn't look like murals in Tulsa or pay homage to some aspect of our state's underwhelming people or history, Steve was not pleased. He squirted black ink all over the idea in a lengthy article in The Oklahoman titled "Is an opportunity being devoured by a Bricktown octopus?"

A great potential canvass for a mural emerged when owners of the southwest corner of the former Stewart Metal Fabricators property chose to turn their spot into surface parking. That left the plain concrete wall of the Bricktown Event Center exposed and prime for some cool art.

The owners of the property, Brent and Brett Brewer, teamed up to split the cost of the mural 50/50 with Downtown Initiatives, a non-profit operated by Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. The Brewers envisioned a mural linked to the city’s music culture or history – maybe something honoring Christian and Rushing.

But Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. led the selection of the artist. There was no request for proposals, no judging panel for selection. They instead commissioned [Jack Fowler]...

Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., however, gave Fowler no direction on what might be the best fit for the wall. Instead, they gave Fowler total autonomy over the mural’s depiction.

So we get “Bricktown Octopus”

After six months, Fowler's "Bricktown Octopus" is complete. Now Steve Lackmeyer kind of likes it. He admitted so in an article that mourns the loss of boring historical art in Bricktown.


The octopus is colorful, huge and it has nothing to do with state, city or Bricktown history. Spanning a 5,000-square-foot alley side wall of the Chevy Bricktown Entertainment Center, the mural was commissioned by the property owners, Brent and Brett Brewer and Downtown Initiatives, a nonprofit operated by Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.

List me as someone who was a skeptic when this project was first launched. But as it nears completion, I get it. This is a mural that will become a photo spot, a total celebration of nonsense in a world that desperately needs to be cheered up by colorful silliness.

You know what, kudos to Steve for having an open mind. I wasn't a big fan of the initial concept either, but I also really didn't care. As the son of an eccentric artist who makes weird abstract masks and sculptures, I've learned you can't please everyone when it comes to art. We all have different styles and tastes. Some people like murals of Oklahoma astronauts that we've never heard of. Other people like murals of sea creatures that require a good dose of Colorado indica to fully appreciate. Sometimes you just have to pull a 76ers and trust the process. That's how art works.

Anyway, you can check out pics of the mural on Jack Fowler's Twitter. I think his next project should be a mosaic of Steve Lackmeyer riding an octopus created with rubble from a demolished old building. That would be deep and emotional, and in all honesty, would please everyone.

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