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Main Street Event Center to host live painting event centered on Native culture, voter suppression

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Gui-Angya Window Painting

Main Street Event Center's second window painting event will feature artist Gui-Angya. 

Main Street Event Center will host another live window painting event on its outdoor patio bar on Friday night with Native artist Gui-Angya.

The event center’s co-owner, Tracey Mikkanen, said she hosts the painting events to support artists, especially Native artists, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event has previously featured esteemed Native artist Brent Learned.

The event this week will feature Tracey’s husband, Arvo Mikkanen, who is Kiowa and Comanche. Arvo said he paints under his Native name, Gui-Angya, which translates to “Sitting Wolf.”

Arvo is an experienced artist of many mediums and will also DJ the event under the stage name DJ Adam. In preparation for the event, he said he has engineered and pre-programmed the music set to accompany his painting performance. 

Arvo said Native groups often feel ostracized from society, and he hopes by bringing attention to Native culture and talent he can foster a sense of inclusivity. 

The window painting will feature the phrase “Every Vote Counts — When You Count Every Vote." Arvo, also a practicing attorney, said voter suppression is a prominent issue in rural communities, and he wants to call attention to it. 

“I wanted to capture the concept that voting should be inclusive,” Arvo said. “Many of the voting laws create barriers … rather than making it easier.”

The Mikkanens said they hope the art events bring a little joy to the Norman community during the pandemic. Spectators can buy drinks at the event center’s outdoor patio bar and take selfies in front of the painting. 

The window painting event will be from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Main Street Event Center, 300 East Main St.

“The arts can capture and bridge divisions between groups,” Arvo said. “In the same way, voting can bring people together and make them feel included.”

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