Tulsa International Airport has a new mural that gives travelers a colorful introduction to Green Country.
Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell said he expects about 2,500 people to look at this mural every day. His hope is for it to not only give Tulsans a warm welcome home, but to help others feel right at home, too.
Tourists won't have to wait long to see the art Tulsa has to offer, thanks to the new 8-by-23-foot mural giving them a friendly greeting.
Artist Alexander Tamahn said he jumped at the idea of painting this at the airport.
"I just love putting art in spaces, you know, especially public art," Tamahn said. "It's art that anybody and everybody can access and experience."
The mural is located in the B concourse, right where travelers exit the terminal area.
Tamahn said now that COVID-19 traveling restrictions are much more relaxed, he hopes that his painting will witness all the special moments at the airport.
"Seeing people kind of reunite with their families and take trips and different things that they haven't been able to do for a long time, it's really cool to have this as like the backdrop for that reunification experience," Tamahn said.
Pinnell said first impressions matter. He said Oklahoma has a standard of welcoming anyone with open arms and he hopes the mural is a reflection of that.
"That's really showing that Oklahoma is not a dust bowl," Pinnell said.
Pinell also said there is a bigger picture behind the mural - he doesn't want people to just come here but stay here.
"This is as welcoming of a state as you can find," Pinnell said. "And so, rolling out that red carpet and showing again the rest of the world how inviting and how welcoming our city and our state is, is the first step to recruiting more people to the state."
Mayor Bynum said this is only the beginning of the city's efforts to add more art projects to attract people to Tulsa.