North Tulsa students create giant Jordan sneaker: McLain OG

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TULSA, Okla. — Students at McLain High School put in months of work to create a giant sneaker that will soon be on display at Tulsa’s Philbrook museum.

Adam Carnes is the art teacher at the high school. He says the idea all started when a student asked if they could paint their sneakers for their art project.

“I was really trying to come up with ways for them to get excited because in these times its been kind of rough,” Carnes explains. “I was like OK we can do that but we are going to take it one step higher, we are going to make a giant OG. This is the sneaker that started it all.”

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The original Air Jordan sneakers were produced exclusively for Michael Jordan in late 1984, and released to the public on April 1, 1985.

A $2,300 donation from the Assistance League of Tulsa, through the Betty Bradstreet Arts Education Award, got the ball rolling, no basketball pun intended.

“We mashed the OG red with McLain school colors...hence the McLain OG,” Carnes says.

Plenty of cardboard, paper mache and 900 hot glue sticks later...

“It took 71 students over 61 school days and myself to put this behemoth together,” Carnes says describing all the hard work.

McLain sophomore Christian Sanders says its all something he never expected, to have a piece he was a part of displayed at a museum while he is in high school.

“It just built up my energy and had me overly positive with the people around me and myself as well,” he says, the pride and excitement clear on his face.

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Carnes says people can come to McLain to see the giant Jordan 1, by appointment for a suggested donation of $5 or $10. You can also see this larger-than-life shoe at Philbrook’s Sneaker Soiree set for June 4. The event started last year with a partnership with local sneaker shop Silhouette Sneakers. The soiree features black business, like Silhouette’s, black-owned food trucks and live performances. The attire, of course, includes your best sneaker.

“I don’t think there are many words that could add up to the potential that this shoe has for me and I just think it will be really cool to have it in a museum,” Sanders says, adding that there isn’t much that will stop him from being at the museum to see his project on display.