“The back patio area has always been an eyesore and we never had the budget to do anything,” said Amber Clour, director of the Dreamer Concepts Studio Foundation at 324 E. Main St.

When Clour was selected to be part of the Leadership Norman class, however, she saw a makeover opportunity for the patio. Her class agreed and selected the outdoor area as the class project.

After the selection was made, Clour went to work, organizing a committee and developing a long-term, sustainable plan for the studio. In just six weeks before the project would begin, Clour scrambled to put together a three-phase plan.

Phase 1, which was completed in April, included deep cleaning, rebuilding of the bars and the installation of telephone poles to be used for pallet fences. Three pallet fences also were installed.

“All the materials we’re using are either recycled or donated,” Clour said.

The bulk of Phase 1 was completed by her Leadership Norman class although other volunteers participated.

“We had days where everybody worked slave labor,” she said.

Phase 2, which was at 90 percent completion at press time, includes putting up new lighting and installing a fire pit. Sun sails, or recycled vinyl banners made by local artists, also were installed over the patio to provide shade for summer activities. Clour said re-laying gravel also is part of Phase 2, but that she is still working on funds to complete this step.

By the end of summer, Clour would like to see Phase 3 completed as well. Phase 3 includes creating storage, redoing the bar area and implementing the final round of landscaping.

The renovation won’t slow down summer activities at the DCSF, however. A fashion show is scheduled to take place in the area in July and summer-long programming such as the Summer Films in the Alley and the Spoken Word series will be outside as well.

Clour looks at the patio as additional opportunities for local visual artists.

“It’s going to extend the gallery so we’ll be able to have art work outside,” she said.

To assist with the funding, people can purchase sponsorship benches that will be used as seats at the outdoor events. Individual sponsorships are $50 and business sponsorships are $100. One of her classmates from Leadership Norman has been making the benches to help the continuation of the patio’s development. For more information on this project, call the studio at 701-0048.

Aaron Wright 366-3533 pop@normantranscript.com

cutline: Amber Clour, director of the Dreamer Concepts Studio Foundation, stands in the partially renovated patio at the studio, 324 E. Main St. Phase 1 of the studio’s renovation has been completed, with Phase 2 at 90 percent done. Clour would like to see Phase 3, the final phase, finished by the end of the summer.

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