By Jess Kelsey
Taking his artwork to new heights, 1990 Mustang graduate, Rick Sinnett, is currently painting a 200-foot mural on all four sides of a silo located on the campus of Locke Supply Co. on 82nd Street in Oklahoma City, visible from Interstate 35.
This is one of Sinnett’s tallest murals, featuring his well-known “psychedelic artwork” that encompasses the culture of Oklahoma including the state’s bird, a scissortail flycatcher. Using brushes and rollers, Sinnett predicts the mural will take 30 full working days to complete depending on the weather.
Due to the silo’s height and location in the middle of Locke’s supply lot, Sinnett and fellow artist, Roy Diehl, have to suspend themselves and climb the silo using rock climbing equipment, making it a challenge Sinnett is fearlessly embracing.
Sinnett said murals, such as this one, that are highly visible to a large amount of people helps create a unique relationship between artist and viewer as people who drive by everyday slowly watch the mural unfold.
“When it takes time, these onlookers and local people inadvertently see it every day and they get to see the process and, I found, that they become engaged with it and they take ownership of it because they’ve experienced it,” said Sinnett.
Sinnett’s artwork, which has taken him around the county pursuing multiple mediums, all began in Mustang when he found inspiration from art teachers at Mustang High School.
“With the help of some key teachers that I had in Mustang, I knew at an early age I was going to pursue a career of art,” said Sinnett.
From high school, Sinnett traveled to San Francisco where he became engulfed in an artistic community allowing him to explore print making in the fashion industry. From there, one of his prints got the attention of a business owner in Tulsa who requested Sinnett turn his artwork into a mural.
“I was like, ‘Oh, cool. I don’t paint murals,’” laughed Sinnett, who then began an unstoppable career of becoming a muralist.
Scaling his print pieces into larger sizes, Sinnett learned how to create and use giant stencils that allow him to keep his original pieces uniform and true to nature, said Sinnett.
That mural turned into another mural which turned into another mural taking Sinnett “off the beaten paths” in Oklahoma reigniting his love for art. During this time someone suggested to Sinnett that he create a series of murals along Route 66, which Sinnett decided to pursue in 2011. Since then, Sinnett’s artwork can be seen all over Oklahoma as requests come in from areas he never imagined his art style would be sought.
“There’s such a big boom right now with public art in Oklahoma,” said Sinnett. “It’s been amazing how it’s all happened.”
Sinnett said the ever-growing appreciation of public art throughout not only Oklahoma, but the country as well, has been an honor to be a part of. He has received several awards throughout
Oklahoma including being named 2015 Artist of the Year by the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City, as well as receiving an honor from the Norman Arts Council this week for making a difference in the Norman community.
“This renaissance that is being noted all over the world, especially this region of this country, it’s because of the economic dynamics and political dynamics here that you have to have in order to have people wanting something and wanting to grow,” said Sinnett. “Public art is so good here because the chemistry is right.”
After this mural, Sinnett has several projects lined up around the state, including a potential mural that’s even bigger than his current project.
Sinnett said painting murals and creating public art has just exploded his career.
“This is what I’ve been looking for,” said Sinnett.