Red Elk selected as finalist for State Fair mural competition
Shailah Red Elk has been busy. As an artist, a mother and a small business owner. So busy in fact, that during our interview she was simultaneously painting a commissioned mural.
You might recognize Red Elk if you’ve ever wandered into her store/gallery, The Native Hippy, located just off campus next to Cameron University. In her store, Red Elk sells unique t-shirts, furniture and custom art, among other items.
Always on the hunt for new challenges, Red Elk recently entered the live mural challenge, a recently introduced aspect of the Oklahoma State Fair’s creative arts competitions.
“When I got the email saying I was selected, I was really surprised,” Red Elk said. “The submissions were from all over Oklahoma, I didn’t expect to win.”
To enter the contest, Red Elk had to submit a portfolio of images of her large scale mural work. She submitted three pieces, two that she had created freehand for Black Dog Crossfit and one that she created behind her own store.
On Aug. 24, 20 muralists were selected out of the 72 applicants to participate in the challenge at this year’s state fair. The finalists will create a large scale mural, 8 ‘ x 11’ in total, in front of a live audience in The Circle, near Gate 1, on Saturday, Sept. 14. They will have from 9 a.m. to sundown to finish their mural before the judging takes place the next day at 6 p.m.
According to Red Elk, there is no designated theme for the mural, but the finalists were told that the murals most be original, created on site and can not be a replica of an existing work.
Red Elk, excited by the opportunity, is brainstorming ideas for her mural ahead of time.