Just Below the Surface: The Midtown Underground

Chad Mount has been to the cavernous depths of the ocean. He once met couchsurfers from Switzerland, for whom he painted in a travel journal. He’s been to Finland. Somewhere in between those two events, that particular travel journal painting ended up in the Atlantic, and was most likely destroyed due to an unfortunate shipwreck (flames were involved).

chad-mount-headerAside from that, he has an art studio in Midtown, and it’s fitting that it also happens to be submerged. We were obliged to be welcomed into his underground lair, Just Below the Surface. Tonight, he wants you there, too.

The studio, located below the Plaza Court building, is not typically open to the public. But at one point, it was a raucous little underground hideout before its recent years of vacancy. Prior, it had been a club and a music venue, among other things. R.E.M. played there. The Flaming Lips. And most recently, Colourmusic.

“This place has history, and it was an ideal location to submerge myself into my work,” says Mount. “Now, I’m ready to invite people in, give them a peek at a functioning work space and possibly introduce them to some artists they might be unfamiliar with.”

Mount, also known as Tribalbot, has been active in the Oklahoma City art scene since 2004, after spending years on the western coast doing animation and illustration. It wasn’t until he came back to Oklahoma that he started throwing himself into painting.

“Most begin with painting and drawing. My story is in reverse,” says Mount, and laughs. “I never seem to go directly through the front door.”

disco-ball-chad-mountHis zeal for the art community and switching gears with his medium ignited after his first experience at Momentum, an annual exhibition led by Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

“I still remember looking down from that upper level in the Farmer’s Market and being astounded by the energy. It’s only grown more.”

Since, he’s been a huge proponent of the arts, whether it’s teaching at Oklahoma Contemporary, immersing himself in grant work, organizing shows for Art Revoles or hosting a Colourmusic session underground.  In addition to his paintings (works in progress and finished pieces), Mount will share the studio space with artist Neal Robinson and creative designer Alexandra Urice.

“Neal is exceptional, and was our featured artist last month for Art Revolves at Elemental,” says Mount.

Neal will display new work involving the use of hand-created collage patterns composed of spray painted templates, abstract photographs and found material from vintage books/advertisements.

Alexandra Urice is an emerging interior designer who studied at The Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Mount won’t reveal much about what she has in store, but that’s part of the appeal.

“We were touring my studio one day and I asked if she would like to flex her creative muscles in the form of a small installation for the open house. She said yes.”

There will be disco balls. There will be wine. There will be visual arts magic. Oh, and ARTDESK, a twice-yearly print magazine devoted to the contemporary arts, will be handing out 50-100 complimentary issues. Plus, you can receive 15-20% off Mount’s selected originals and prints.


Event time: 6-9 p.m.

Location: 1110 Lobby Entrance of Plaza Court, next door to STASH.

Directions: You know, just head toward the dimly lit staircase, and you’ll find yourself in a magical space you couldn’t have imagined existed beneath the same upper-level building you may hit the elliptical in (or down pints and $4 burgers).

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