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Tulsa artist flipping burned home to help homeless women

Tulsa Artist house
Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 02, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — Halloween decorations outside of a condemned house are not a typical sight, but nor are the plans for this house.

April McDaniel is a local artist who also learned construction work as a child when she helped her dad build a cabin.

Squatters allegedly lit a west Tulsa house on fire. It was full of pianos April believes were stolen for copper. So April is almost single-handedly flipping the house. She made sure the structure was still sound enough. With donated help from an attorney for a contract, she met with the homeowner with her plan to provide a space for women experiencing homelessness.

“[I told him] if you let me take on this house for 10 years, you can claim it as tax-exempt for 10 years, and when it’s finished, you can have your house back, and it gives homeless ten years to have a place to stay,” she said.

It is a major undertaking. There is no electricity or plumbing. She is determined to finish in two years. She is in the process of creating a non-profit organization. Her vision for the home is very thorough.

“There will be rules and regulations. There will be codes on the doors and cameras and applications to sign up,” she said. “If you don’t follow the rules, it’s one shot and done.”

In addition to flipping the house, she also plans to expand. She is building an additional room on the back of the house to fill it with bunk beds.

Her art already adorns the walls. She gains inspiration from the works of Gothic filmmaker Tim Burton. Everything inside the house has been donated through word of mouth.

“I came home yesterday, and there were two mirrors and a shelf just sitting there,” she said. “I have no idea where it came from!”

She’s not stopping with this house---she has two more in the works. If it sounds exhausting, April says sitting still is boring. So why not take on her biggest canvas yet?

April’s artwork will be featured at Liggett Studio starting Oct. 13. The exhibit features 20 self-taught Oklahoma artists.

For exhibit details, click here.

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