Sinnett brings first indoor mural home

Mural Two

By Rachel Brocklehurst,

Imagine you’re in the most calming and profound area of the world where you can see the ripening of the sky as the air from the wind comes in to blow underneath it and the most beautiful scissortail is gracefully expanding her wings, as though not even the air itself can touch her.

That’s what comes to mind when thinking of Mustang native and artist Rick Sinnett. Well, in a couple words.

Sinnett has painted many outdoor murals across the state, until now. The Mustang Library is where his first indoor mural is located.

The Friends of the Mustang Public Library hired Sinnett to paint a mural for the Mustang Library’s Teen Area. The mural features Indian Blanket wildflowers, a Scissortail Flycatcher, wheat stalks and horses.

The mural is 792 square feet, or 67 ft. wide by 12 ft. tall and will be a major addition to the Library and Teen Area.

Twelve teens were a part of a focus group that discussed the mural project. The teens gave suggestions on what symbols could be incorporated in to the design. One popular suggestion was that the space needed color.

Sinnet’s other public art is visible in towns such as Norman, Tulsa, Pauls Valley, El Reno and Bristow. Currently, Sinnett is working on a series of murals along The Mother Road, America’s famous Route 66, from one border of Oklahoma to the other.

He’s finished three out of 11 of the Route 66 murals, so far. Each one has taken two weeks to finish. In addition to creating fine art murals, Sinnett is also a master printmaker.

He has spent 20 years mastering serigraphy and stencil-making, with paint on paper. It’s only been four years since he started painting murals/creating public art.

Sinnet works with a program called Public Arts Project, which is a group of people that want to connect the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain and support the arts in America.

He said Mary Beth Babcock is not only instrumental in the P.A.P., but also was a huge influence for him as far as his art goes. Sinnet’s journey began when one of his friends purchased a piece of original artwork and wanted it painted as a mural.

“I wanted to paint something you don’t have to pay for to see,” he said. “For colors, I normally use between 14-16 of the same colors on the painting palette.”

He paints animals to represent the state and local community. For the Mustang Library, it took him a week and a half to complete. He has created artwork for renowned musicians, notable clothing manufacturers and a leading shoe label.

Sinnett’s work also includes letterpress printmaking, glass etching and sculpting.  Sinnett hit his first milestone at the age of 5, it was drawing actively and creating art through pen and ink printmaking.

His second was when he turned 18. By this time, Sinnett had a printing job in Oklahoma City and was printing some of his designs on t-shirts to sale. This print shop was in Wheatland and lasted five years.

He wound up moving to California where he worked as a print maker in the garment industry. He did what they called sampling where he would “decorate” pieces of clothing from Levi’s or Calvin Klein before they actually got sewn together.

He was in California for seven to eight years. “My goal in this industry is that I want to make people smile with my art,” Sinnet said. “I want them to feel uplifted and I want to make a positive impact. I think art is important in communities.”

He said his style is definable yet unintentional at the same time. “Most people take ownership innately and it gives off a still renewed pride in a community,” Sinnet said. “It’s like it’s no longer mine, it’s the peoples’ and I walk away from it. Within rural communities, my art is a history of their community showcased.”

Sinnet has had some loyal followers that make it a point to go to every mural he’s done. He also likes finding out about other artists who do the same thing.

“I view the state as one whole community,” he said. “There’s a journey from one mural to the next and there’s an economic impact that other aspects can branch out from from the art itself.”

“The difference in feeling from murals to other items in general is that there’s certain serenity within items in general and murals are more engaging for people,” Sinnet said.

Sinnet credits Thomas Surrat, Jake Harmes and Tanner Frady with helping him on the projects. Harmes helped Sinnet with his first two murals and Surrat has helped with several Route 66 projects.

“Surrat is an off-the-record, phenomenal artist,” Sinnet said. “He’s got what it takes to do my style of art. He’s also really busy, so I’m glad he’s been able to help the way he has.” Frady is an excellent artist in Yukon.

As far as influences, Sinnet appreciates his parents encouraging him.

Sinnet said he has “tech guys” changing up his original website, www.mothcollection.com constantly, but there is another website to where there are stock photos of certain designs he’s made and you can create that design on either an iPhone case, tie, messenger bag, mouse pad, decal, t-shirt, other cell cases, etc. This site is www.zazzle.com/mothcollection.

He’s also having an art exhibit with opening reception that’s open to the public at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The reception is Oct. 16 and the actual event is from Oct. 15-Nov. 11. He will be showing between 20-30 of his pieces at this exhibit and they will be on sale all month long.

Rachel Brocklehurst is a reporter for the Mustang News. She can be reached at rachelb@mustangnews.info.