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"A City In Bloom" by Carlos Barboza 

Who is the stunning woman in the middle? The centerpiece of our mural is a Muscogee (Creek) Native American. She is not a specific person, Carlos wanted her to be ambiguous. He created her distinct features by referencing vintage photos of Muscogee women found at the Muscogee (Creek) Council House in Okmulgee, OK.

Is she a Princess? No and yes. Our original intent was to find a headpiece that would stand out and add to the murals overall aesthetic. While researching, we stumbled upon crowns used in Muscogee Nation pageants, learned the symbolism behind this particular crown and the cultural pride it represents.  The crown's designer is Muscogee/Seminole jewelry artesian Kenneth Johnson.

MVTO! to Muscogee (Creek) Nation & Broken Arrow's own Dr. Betty Gerber, a Muscogee citizen and former Museum BA director, for their help and guidance. 

What are the words in the yellow circle around our Muscogee woman?   Both words mean "Broken Arrow." The way to say Broken Arrow in Muscogee language is, "Thlikachka." It is written this way on many maps and historical documents. The way the word is spelled/written in Muscogee language is "REKACKV." Fun Fact: Broken Arrow is written nine times throughout the mural!

Maps: The map depicted on the left: Muscogee ancestral homelands. Thlikachka, Alabama. The map on the right is Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Who is Tiger football player number 54? Our tiger football player is number 54 because of the history of the 1954 team. Several members of the 1954 class are active members of the museum, helping us document and preserve BA history. Carlos' birthday is May 17th, so he chose the number 17 for the Union player. We felt the using an image of two football players would be the best way to represent both school districts in Broken Arrow.

The 45th Infantry/Thunderbird Division: Many Native American's and Broken Arrow citizens are members of the 45th Infantry Division, including Broken Arrow's Medal of Honor recipient Col. Ernest Childers. 
Smitty's & Cowboys: Paying homage to our cowboy past, we chose images "Smitty's," a western store once located on Main Street, and the Gainer rodeo/ranch cowboys. Did you know, the Sampson Chisolm Trail went through the Indian Springs area of Broken Arrow?

What kind of car is that? It's an Auburn. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Factory began restoring cars and producing Cords here in the 1960s. The ACD Factory is still restoring cars today off Elm Place (hint: there is a WW2 airplane sitting outside their building).

Depot, Train & MKT: The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad or MK&T Depot was constructed in 1903 on the south end of Main Street, right next to our museum. The first official passenger train arrived at 1:18 P.M. on Saturday, July 4th, 1903.

Rooster Days Sign: We chose this image to represent Oklahoma's longest-running festival, Rooster Days. This sign mimics a sign painted in the 1950s by beloved sign painter, Gene McDougal. The Ferris Wheel, per Carlos' design is supposed to be white.

​Buildings depicted on the upper left corner: Broken Arrow Ledger Office, Bower & Brown Elevator & Kentucky Colonel Hotel 

Buildings depicted on the upper right corner: City Municipal Building and Water Tower, Haskell State Agricultural College & NUSHO Movie Theatre

Oklahoma Museum Association Award Winner Promotional Piece Budget Category $15,001 to $50,000  2021 

Funding for this project was obtained through grants and donations. Thank you to our generous sponsors Oklahoma Humanities*, Broken Arrow Community Foundation, and the City of Broken Arrow for their time, gifts, and dedication to our mission. “This program is funded in part by Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.”  Thank you Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Fresh Paint Days 2019 for a primer paint & the volunteers from PSO for its application. "A City In Bloom" mural image is owned by Broken Arrow Historical Society/The Museum Broken Arrow and is not to be used without express written permission from Broken Arrow Historical Society/The Museum Broken Arrow.

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