24 young art students leave their mark on Tulsa International Airport

TULSA - A new attraction at Tulsa International Airport caused a lot of busy travelers to stop for a few seconds today, in a place where many people are just coming and going.

"It is huge. It is probably the biggest thing we have ever done," Tulsa Girls Art School student Saleen Eshelman said.

Painting a mural across from the departure counters at the airport kept two dozen teenage girls pretty busy. They only had an afternoon to finish it.

"Pretty big endeavor, but it is pretty awesome," TGAS teacher Matt Moffett said. "When you have 24 pairs of hands painting and they know what they're doing and paying attention to different parts it is like a gigantic coloring book."

The Tulsa inspired mural, reflecting urban life to the Oklahoma state wildflower the Indian Blanket, is adding a lot of color to the airport.

"This was actually a plain white wall. It was kind of drab and nothing too exciting about it.," Alexis Higgins with Tulsa International said.

The ticket counter workers at the airport were excited to see the girl's work come to life.

"The kids started painting and it has been about 2 hours and 20 minutes and they have it almost finished. It is amazing. It gives us a wonderful view from work though. We appreciate it," Mike Wilcox of Southwest Airlines said.

The young artists from Booker T. Washington High School and the Tulsa Girls Art School made something they can take pride in for years to come.

"It is nice to know that everyone is going to get to see it," Eshelman said. "Not just one person who is going to buy it and put it in their house and the end of the story. This is going to be here forever."

All while learning how to express themselves as artists.

"We all get to incorporate ourselves into it so I think it will make it that much better.," TGAS student Monae King said.

For the student artists it was an afternoon they won't forget, making a mural that is set to have a long layover at the airport.

"I think it is a real life experience that later on if they want to go to art school, 'hey I have mural experience I can do this'. So I think it builds a lot of confidence," Moffett said.

The mural was made possible through the airport's Cultural Advisory Group, which works to install art that reflects the Tulsa region.

The mural can be found across from the Southwest and United ticket counters next to the departure drop-off area.

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