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TU Student's New Exhibit Shows Past, Current Sights Along Route 66

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The exhibit is a unique look at 20 spots along the Mother Road, including Tulsa's Blue Dome. The exhibit is a unique look at 20 spots along the Mother Road, including Tulsa's Blue Dome.
The exhibit opens Friday at Living Arts Tulsa, as part of the Brady District's First Friday Art Crawl. The exhibit opens Friday at Living Arts Tulsa, as part of the Brady District's First Friday Art Crawl.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Among Tulsa's claims to fame is our association with Route 66, the historic highway that runs through Green Country on its way from Chicago to California.

We've seen the Mother Road presented dozens of different ways, but there's one display like we've never seen before, opening Friday.

University of Tulsa graduate student Natalie Slater was putting the finishing touches, Thursday, on her Route 66 exhibit at Living Arts in downtown's Brady District.

"From Chicago to Los Angeles, not just Tulsa, it's the entire 2,500 miles," Slater said.

1/4/2013 Related Story: Tulsans Tour Growing Brady District On First Friday Art Crawl Of 2013

Slater selected some vintage photographs of iconic places along the route, then visited each one and re-photographed it, as much as possible, from the original vantage point.

"I've been working with these in Photoshop for a year and a half," she said.

The exhibit is, in effect, her thesis for her master of fine arts degree from TU. It's a unique look at 20 spots along the Mother Road.

Each one of the frames is a light box and each has two photos: the old black and white and the current color photo behind it.

One photo shows the blue dome building from sometime in '30s or '40s. Switch on the light and the color photo from today appears and you can see the Midcontinent Tower shows in the background, where it wasn't there in the first photo.

It's interactive, too. Each light box has it's own dimmer switch, made from the floorboard of a '40s era pickup truck. Also, there's be a souvenir stand, just like a stop on Route 66, where you can buy coasters or postcards made using her photos.

"I thought it was an interesting character in the life of America," Slater said.

The exhibit opens Friday at Living Arts Tulsa, as part of the Brady District's First Friday Art Crawl.

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