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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — La 29, also known as SW29 District, chose the piece “Bailamos” by Nick Bayer as the newest mural to decorate the famous southside OKC business corridor. 

Bayer and his piece were selected after a long process of deliberation which started by asking the community what they wanted. 

In general, the community wanted to highlight Hispanic culture and traditions. 

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This rendering provided by the artist shows the projected appearance of the new La29 mural “Bailamos” by Nick Bayer.

The new mural is located on the eastbound side of Southwest 29th Street just west of South Walker Avenue by the famous Jude & Jody’s Furniture store.

Jude Northcutt, Jude & Jody co-owner and member of the SW 29th Street community for decades, participated in the process of choosing the new mural.

He wanted music and culture to be the central theme of the new addition to the district and was excited to see “Bailamos” as part of the artwork to be showcased on the 3-mile-long southside district.

Northcutt passed away in September but the mural carries his legacy and commitment to the community as well as his interest in music and culture.

The artist

Bayer has been making art for over 15 years and his passion began early on as a kid whenever illustrations, photos and visual art captured his attention way more than words and the written language ever did. 

He then developed a deep devotion for drawing and spent a lot of his free time creating images. 

Bayer never really considered art as his career path in his teenage years.

Choosing a major in college was difficult. 

He decided Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma could be a good fit for him and his creative side.

While attending college, Bayer met Dr. Bob Palmer and started working under the well-known muralist on a multiplicity of commissions all throughout Oklahoma. 

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Artist Nick Bayer gets closer to completion on his mural “Bailamos” for La 29 business corredor. October 2021 (PABLO ANGULO-GONZALEZ/Okla City Free Press)

Bayer decided to get his MFA from Kansas State University and then started teaching after 10 years of developing skills, learning and working alongside Dr. Palmer. 

Whether it’s in the shape of public art in Mckinley Park, working for the Science Museum or a private entity, Bayern and his company Createco Studios have elevated the visual art scene in the metro area.

Bayer’s last project was a collaborative artistic endeavor within the Pete White Health and Wellness Center south of Capitol Hill High School. 

Prior to his work in the southside, Bayer has done murals, mosaics, 3D props, pieces that mix 2D and 3D, exhibits, and other forms of art for different entities in OKC. 

The mural

“Bailamos” is the second mural added to the SW 29th District. 

“I wanted to do something that told a little bit of the history of the community, the area and the culture,” Bayer told the Free Press.

He used his background in both mosaic and mural works to come up with the vibrant and contrasting piece “Bailamos.”

Mexican traditional crafts, ceramics, embroidery, vibrant colors and floral elements inspired the creation of the piece which elevates and highlights Hispanic presence, culture and tradition in Oklahoma City.

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This artist’s rendering shows what the new La29 mural “Bailamos” by Nick Bayer will look like when completed. (provided by the artist)

The funding for “Bailamos” comes in part from La 29 operational funds, composed primarily of donations and sponsorships to the district, and the OKC Commercial District Revitalization Program.  

“La 29 Mural 1 – La Historia ” by Narciso Argüelles, inaugurated June of 2020,  showcases Mexican and Aztec heritage and was the first mural displayed on South Western Avenue just north of SW 29th Street.

Both murals are the result of La 29 District to beautify and develop the corridor with the support of Oklahoma City.

The District

La 29 or SW29 District is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote and improve the business corridor on SW 29th Street from South Shields Boulevard to South May Avenue. 

The organization’s mission is to establish a collective voice for all commerce on the corridor while promoting the district as a quintessential component and gathering place of the Hispanic community in Oklahoma City.

The SW29 district helps the commercial aspect of the corridor by supporting, connecting and empowering the businesses of the area.

In terms of community, the district is actively pursuing the beautification of the area and encouraging local business to thrive as a means to elevate the community.

The organization seeks to promote culture as one of their core values by showcasing and enriching the area’s art scene, music and food as well as organizing events and festivals. 

As a district of OKC, La 29 hopes to collaborate with other city districts, seek mutually beneficial affiliations and promote networking to empower the community.

Last Updated October 30, 2021, 4:21 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor