Surely by now– you’ve heard of Modern Abstract Artist– Matt Goad.

A talent whose unique creations are gracing the private walls of Oklahoma’s influencing population, the time is now to buy into the hype! Because the hype is real, and super creative and giving our culture an edge captured in a way that is blessed to be showcased with his mod style methods and inspired linear perception. We were delighted to have a personal tour of the piece which spans a working commercial garage, and covers the beginning of native dwelling — to the oil boom, down the line to statehood with personal touchstones of Wiley Post and Will Rogers, along with the Dust Bowl, tornadoes, graced with the presence of the Golden Driller and the OKC Thunder. Spend a hot minute with Matt below hearing about how the project took flight like Wiley and mark your calendar to head out and see it for yourself this weekend.

How did the mural come about?

Charlie Trujillo and Lettering Express had been helping me with stencils for my paintings for a couple years. They’re the absolute best at what they do! A year or so ago Charlie started having art events in one of the bays at Lettering Express, with artists and bands and the like. He called these event “Just An OK Art Show” for the Oklahoma artists and musicians at the shows. He’d asked if I’d do a mural in their main bay to have one wall covered in art year around. I said let’s do it! He and the team at Lettering Express helped me with stencils and painting the final mural! It was definitely a team effort!

Was this your first mural project to put together?
I work as a designer/creative director for Funnel Design Group and have designed some things at the Science Museum before. But nothing this large.
What are some of your inspirations for shapes used and worked into the design? 
All the art I create has a very graphic hard edge feel to it. I’ve always been turned on by artists that use flat colors such as Stuart Davis, Charley Harper, Roy Lichtenstein, even Picasso. The shapes are just a result of sketches and doodles I do, in this case to illustrate Oklahoma’s history (For Just an OK Art Show). The shapes often are representational designs broken down to their most basic outlines. Some more conceptual, for example I have a giant hand shape with red dots coming out of the sky representing the dustbowl. I like to design elements overlapping one another, this way things aren’t always evident at first and take some deciphering. People seem to respond well when they discover what is what.
How can the public view it?
Look up and like “Just An OK Art Show” on Facebook to see upcoming events. They have four to six events a year. This Saturday August 16 will be the first event with the mural. Everyone is invited! There will be other artists on display plus live music by the Wurly Birds and Feel Spectres! The event is located at 2130 W Reno in Oklahoma City (South bay entrance of Lettering Express) from 9 until midnight or so. I’ll have limited edition prints for sale of the mural as well as other pieces.
Matt will have killer prints of the mural available at a discounted rate for those who grace the party presence for purchase. Trust us folks, if you haven’t started your GOAD collection yet, this is the piece to begin building your locally rad wall.
One of Oklahoma’s finest Modern Artists of the time.

Mixed Messages

Yogi Sandi Burden gives a momentary break from the illusory mixed message programming of the masses.


I like to post a lot of things on my website and on Facebook (of course) about women and their body
image and how the media feeds us this load about what is beautiful.

The most recent ad I’m whining about is the “Strong is the new skinny” campaign. Have you seen this
ad? I’m not even sure what the ad is encouraging us to buy. When I first saw it I thought, “Hey alright!
No more skinny chicks!” As I really thought about what the ad was actually saying I realized that it is the
same old message with a new twist; the old “You are not good enough” is now paired with the new and
improved “You aren’t strong enough either” message.

Yes, it’s great that we are learning that skinny is not healthy, but this new standard of strength is not
maintainable either. For a woman to develop the strength these ads portray takes hours of weight
training per week over an extended period of time. Instead of being cajoled in to eating Lean Cuisine
after Lean Cuisine, or whatever skinny food is hot at the moment, we get to feel guilty if we’re not at the
gym developing man muscles.

In yoga, we develop strength to support our body weight rather quickly and we are able to perform
some pretty impressive things with our body. This happens naturally, over time, as we learn to accept
where our bodies are right now and learn to love who we are in the present moment. This doesn’t mean
everyone who practices yoga is going to end up looking like the girl in the ad! What this does mean is
that we learn that NOT looking like the girl in the ad is both ok and realistic. This internal strength that
we gain is what upholds us and allows us to become our true selves and not an image of another.

How do we discourage another generation of women from developing eating disorders? How do we
teach our young girls that nature has created us in all different sizes, shapes, colors for a reason? This
doesn’t mean that we don’t encourage healthy eating and exercise, but how do we balance that with
the message that our daughters are perfect just as they are?

Naturally, I think all of us should be practicing yoga. If we can get our children to the yoga mat they
will learn to quiet the chatter of the mind, to connect with their bodies, and to embrace the present
moment. These experiences will help them in their lives now and will give them the tools they need for
a content and happy future. Contact your local yoga studio to find out what classes are available for
children and teenagers.


You can find Sandi on the web at: (launching later in August)


or on


Check out his skills or hit him up for some awesome commissions at


Indian 101 | Behind the Directors Inspiration

Film Poster by Matt Goad

 Julianna, the Brave, Brannum is an inspiration to Oklahoma filmmakers, she is the recipient of Sundance and Tribeca Film honors and the Producer/Director of Ladonna Harris: Indian 101, a documentary that will kick ass on a national front, due out later this summer 2012. Julianna has worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles and now lives in Austin, Texas where she has tenaciously been working on different projects while simultaneously putting the finishing touches on a piece that will become a gem of This Land.

Can you tell us a little bit about Julianna Brannum?

Well, I’m an Okie through and through! Born and raised in Norman, OK, I come from a Comanche mother and Irish father whose families were here since Indian Territory days. I went to OU and then moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to pursue a career in film and television. I’ve made a few documentaries, with my most recent film bringing me back to my Oklahoma roots. The film, “LaDonna Harris: Indian 101” centers on my great aunt and native rights leader, LaDonna Harris. She’s not only an important figure withinin my tribe and Indian Country at large, but she is an internationally known political figure when it comes to indigenous rights and wellness.
Have you always been a storyteller? When did you decide being a Filmmaker was your calling?
I decided my senior year in high school that I wanted to be a journalist and then after seeing Errol Morris’ “Thin Blue Line”, I decided that documentary film was my calling. I suppose I would consider myself a storyteller in that I love telling people about the things I have learned and experienced. I love sharing my family’s history, because it is so unique and rich. And my life experience and Oklahoma upbringing has obviously shaped me immensely and has created a great deal of fodder for me.
Can you take us to the place where you knew you were going to do a film on the Amazing Ladonna Harris? Your life situation, what projects you were working on, the date of inspiration and motivating factors…..
I was living up in San Francisco in 2006 producing an episode for a PBS series, “We Shall Remain” for American Experience and was doing an immense amount of archival research when I started receiving news stories that included my aunt and my uncle, Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris. I always knew of their importance, but once I started seeing the amount of news coverage on them, I quickly realized that their stories could be made into a great historical document… not to mention inspiration!
Around that same time, I was visiting my friend Jill Richardson when I stopped by her house and she was watching a newly released DVD of the Dick Cavett Show. When I came in, she said “How funny – there’s a Comanche woman on this show right now… I wonder if you are related.” I took one look at the TV and said ‘That’s my Aunt Ladonna!’  She was not only working behind the scenes in Washington, but she had penetrated popular culture, too!
A briefing on Ladonna Harris and her amazingness…..
Ladonna Harris is one of our country’s most important female leaders. Even before her work in Indian Country, she helped to desegregate Lawton, OK in the early 60’s and worked tirelessly for women’s rights and the environment.  She then went on to Washington with her husband and while he was working as the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee, she began networking and making serious inroads with changes in health care and education for tribes and even had Nixon grant land back to several tribes. Something that has never before or since been done. She restored federal recognition to several tribes who had been eliminated through the “Termination Era” and is now working towards forming a GLOBAL indigenous coalition through a mentorship training program she started in the 90’s. She’s bringing the Ainu from Japan together with the Sami from Norway, the Maori from New Zealand, the Aymara from Bolivia with the tribes from North America. It’s truly a pivotal time as we deal with globalization and Ladonna’s impact is being seen all over the world.
And the name? Indian 101?
“Indian 101” comes from a course she was commissioned to teach by President Johnson to all the incoming legislative leaders in Washington who didn’t know a thing about the tribes’ relationships with the federal government. She was horrified by the ignorance she found at  the highest tiers of the most powerful nation and expressed her frustration to Johnson, whom she was very close to, and he said ‘well, by God, you’re gonna have to go teach these people a thing or two!’ So she decided to call it “Indian 101”.
When do you project the film will be released and shared?
We are currently in post-production and are still in need of finishing funds, but I’m aiming to have it completed by late summer of this year. It will be submitted for a PBS broadcast and there will be several screenings in Oklahoma just as soon as it is done. It’s been 6 years now and LaDonna and I are ready to get this out into the world.
Matt Goad is the In Demand Artist of Now in Oklahoma (go ahead and ask someone), and Creative Director of Funnel Design Group. He is also the creative power behind the Indian 101 film poster and marketing. Find him for private commissions at