The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 13, 2013

Unveiled: Enid history mural

Duron Lewis’ pencil drawings now on display at library

ENID, Okla. — Artist Duron Lewis unveiled his latest piece Friday, a pencil-on-canvas mural depicting historical Enid.

He is showing the mural at Public Library of Enid and Garfield County until Sept. 23.

Lewis started working on the piece shortly after he moved to Enid to work in the oil field industry. It’s taken two years to complete the 30 individual drawings, largely based on photographs from the era.

“I would work between 14 and 16 hours a day. I would come in at night around 10 o’clock and sketch for an hour, sometimes two. Get back up at 4 in the morning and work another 16 hours,” he told the crowd assembled at the unveiling Friday afternoon.

One image that took him 15 hours alone to complete shows a crowded downtown in the 1930s, with what appears to be hundreds of people shuffling through the street.

“There is a certain person on here I really like, and it’s one of the reasons I sketched this piece,” he said, pointing to an image among the shaded buildings. “There’s a lady in the window up there. She’s looking at everybody.”

The Enid sketch mural could be the first in a series. Lewis hopes to make one for each state in the union.

“Enid, to me, I believe that is the pioneer of this. I don’t know of any other artist that sketched the history of the city on canvas. So I would like to have Enid be the first,” he said. “I don’t know why I love this city. Don’t ask because I don’t know why. I just came here and so I’m enjoying it.”

The mural is 7.5 feet tall and 10.5 feet wide. At first glance it’s oddly shaped, but only because it represents the municipal boundaries of the city of Enid.

Lewis said he started out with that idea.

“I strategically placed each picture to see how it was going to fit on the shape of Enid,” he said.

The canvas he worked with doesn’t take kindly to pencil lead. The hollowed center of the frames allows the canvas to move. To keep his work from being ruined, he would draw a bit and spray with a protective sealant.

Tediously, he would start at the top-right of each image to keep from rubbing his palm against the lead.

“It’s been tiresome, but thank God I’m finished,” he said.

Lewis said he already has received two offers to sell the drawing and hopes the city will make an offer, too. He has given a pencil drawing to Enid Fire Department, based on an image of the city’s second fire department.

The mayor also will receive a color painting based on oil or acrylic, he said.

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