McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 21, 2011

Artists continue working on downtown’s 80-foot mural

By MJ Brickey
Editor, Hartshorne Sun

McALESTER — For the love of painting and to promote the arts in downtown McAlester, Anita Jackson and Ted Welch, members of the Southeastern Oklahoma Fine Arts Inc., started painting an 80-foot mural on the wall of a building on the southwest corner of Choctaw and Second Street in March.

They estimate it will be finished in August.

Welch has been retired for 10 years. He spent 17 years with Kiamichi Technology Center where he taught drafting and for the last 10 years. Before he retired he also worked for Boeing in the aerospace industry. Welch has spent the last five years of his retirement as a technical artist.

Jackson, a retired Kiowa art teacher and a Master Artist at the Five Tribes Museum, said the idea and painting was influenced by the works of artist John Pugh. Pugh is also known for his elaborate public murals.

Jackson said the mural was sketched by Welch and all of the members of the Southeastern Oklahoma Fine Arts, Inc. will be adding their pieces to the mural.

Other members include Cecelia McMahan, Cindy Barr, Ryan Wiley, Melissa Benjamin and Linda Bayord.

Jackson said the group has also had help from Jana Barnes, Larry North, Michael Mossman and Robert Stedwell.

Contact M.J. Brickey at mjbrickey@journalist.com.