TULSA, Okla. — A DIY art gallery is making a comeback after taking two years off due to the pandemic, and the young adults behind it are making the show bigger and better than ever.
The group behind the home art gallery is called “Don’t Tell Dad”. When it started in 2018, creator Daxton Dyson was only in high school.
He wanted to show his art but couldn’t find the right place to do it. His solution sparked something that is still alive today.
“I just wanted to create a space where people felt they could be unique without the pressure to be perfect,” said Daxton Dyson, the founder.
So they organized a DIY art exhibition at his father’s house, which gave rise to the name of the group.
“The idea that we’re trashing a house with our art and just being kids in a way that parents might disapprove of. Like, don’t tell dad that we’re putting all our stuff in his house and we’re having all these people,” Dyson said.
Little did he realize it would be a big hit with artists and patrons asking the band to do it every year.
“I thought when I did it would just be a fun summer project,” Dyson said.
Gallery: Don’t Tell Dad DIY Art Exhibit
After another successful show in 2019, the pandemic put an end to the idea for two years.
Now, as young adults, they are making a comeback. This time in a warehouse just outside of downtown Tulsa. Which is at least triple the size of the house that originally housed the show.
“It will be like a visitor experience with immersive installations, then some sort of market set up, and then more of a gallery here,” said Margo Starr, social media manager for the art exhibit.
People with “Don’t Tell Dad” draw inspiration from art exhibits like Meow Wolf and AHHA’s The Experience in Tulsa.
They say what sets them apart from most art shows is that they don’t charge artists to attend the event.
“Which is rare. There’s been a lot of arts events in Tulsa that I feel like didn’t feel super inclusive or like a really good opportunity for people and that’s what we’re trying to create, we want people feel welcome as artists in this space,” Charlotte Bumgarner, the group’s coordinator, said.
The show is also free for customers. But to keep it free and make a high experience of past years, they need help with funding.
“This space is probably almost three times the size of our last space, so we wanted to expand and improve it so that the money could be used to clean the space, to prepare it for artists to come and show their art, to there be an ac, helping out with art materials for our installations which are going to be on a much larger scale than we have ever done,” Bumgarner said.
The group uses warehouse space for free, but needs donations to pay for warehouse insurance.
So if you love art and support young entrepreneurs, they’re raising donations through GoFundMe.
Even if you can’t donate, Bumgarner said, “Just tell your friends. Come and this is another way to really help us.
Don’t Tell Dad’s DIY Art Exhibit arrives August 12-13 starting at 7 p.m.
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