Last August, Rob, Alex and I attended the orientation for new students at Green Country Technology Center. I’ve been driving by the school practically every day for years. Rob has done business with them his entire insurance career and has enjoyed his working relationship with all the directors (Jerry Painter, Danne Spurlock and Brady McCullough). We’ve watched the campus grow and new buildings go up and knew that it was a huge asset to the students in Okmulgee County. But when I walked in the door and down the hallway for orientation, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was almost paralyzed by what was surrounding me. I no longer had any interest in orientation but wanted to just stay there in the hallway and soak it all in.
The photographs lining the walls of both of the hallways took my breath away. They were framed works of places all over Okmulgee County that students in Julie Robards’ Digital Media class had captured. The colors were vibrant and the details were amazing. And all were of familiar places and spaces we pass every day.
Fast forward 11 months……..
I received a message from Julie that she and Mr. McCullough would like to offer any services that their school or students could provide to help with the “Okmulgee Rising” movement that Okmulgee Main Street had begun this Spring. I thanked her and shared her message with our Main Street director Heather. A few days later, Julie came by the Main Street office to purchase an Okmulgee Rising t-shirt and Heather told her of our plans to clean and renovate the restrooms at the Orpheum Theatre. Julie joined us there that night and worked all week.
So last Thursday when I popped in the Main Street office I was glad to see Julie there visiting with Heather again. She was Downtown with her morning Digital Media students as they were photographing images for class. She said that the bus driver had parked right in front of The Mac and it blocked the view of taking photos there. When she mentioned that she was going to have the bus park elsewhere when they returned with the afternoon class. I offered to unlock the doors so the students could come in the Mac and take photos if she would like.
Fast forward to this morning when Julie messaged me asking for my e-mail address so she could share some of the photos.
These appeared in my inbox less than an hour later………….
This shot was done by Tabby.
as well as this one.
Sharahn captured this shot
Mason found the character in this damaged ceiling
A family of pigeons were nesting in this one when we moved in.
Kaylee’s image of the damaged ceiling with the beautiful lighting and fixture.
Once again…….I am speechless. And overwhelmed at this incredible gift that was shared with us. Thank you Kaylee, Kendal, Mason, Morgan, Sharahn and Tabby for sharing your vision and talent with us. Thank you Julie for sharing your students with us.
I called Tabby’s mom this afternoon to brag on her photos. I’ve known Tabby since before she was born. Her mom, Laura, shared that Tabby was so excited after they were in The Mac last week. She even told her mom that she now might rethink leaving Okmulgee to go to school somewhere else if she could live in a cool loft apartment downtown.
It’s right there in front of our eyes, if we stop and look at it all with a different vision.
And I can’t wait for Julie to bring her next group of students to see our building through their eyes.
What a blessing Julie, this program and Green Country Technology Center is to Okmulgee County students and Okmulgee Main Street!
Okmulgee is rising…………..