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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Design community favors accessibility

Tuesday, February 5, 2008  
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By Curtis Elmore

Red House Studios, located on 18th Street in Oklahoma City, is composed primarily of current and former Oklahoma Christian University students who work together in a community-centered environment.

"Foremost, it is a company for graphic design, photography and general design," former Account Executive Jacob Berken said. "It's called 'Red House' because the first house we rented was, well, red."

Berken said the house is not dissimilar to a commune; everyone works and lives under the same roof.

He said they all have known each other since freshman year and wanted a way to build a community within the Art Department.

"We would invite people to the Red House to hang out," Berken said. "We'd have dinners and parties together."

Red House Studios participates in the Oklahoma Creativity Project, which is a state program organizing and planning ways to nurture the cultural community in Oklahoma.

"We wanted to make the world a better place," Red House Illustrator and Graphic Designer Jessica Beethe said. "Art is our way of life."

She went on to say Red House Studios is set up similar to The Factory, Andy Warhol's studio where many different artists worked together on different projects.

The core members are Keegan O'Keefe, Jessica Beethe, Paul Wilkes and Matt Thomas, but there are always visitors.

"On any given weekday there are the four of us as well as about ten other people," Beethe said. "It's stimulating; everything must keep changing. The more stuff coming in and out, the better."

The Red House keeps a fresh outlook by having different people coming by and inspiring. Being assessable to a variety of people is valued by The House.

A studio can be considered any place for the development and implementation of artistic ideas. According to Beethe, people freely come and go in and out of the studio to encourage and challenge one another in their respected art.

"It's situated in a close community," junior Kyle Taylor, a Red House regular, said. "It has an interesting dynamic—everyone acts fairly independently, which is why it's called studios. Each has their own entity."

Taylor frequents the Red House because it is set on building a family atmosphere. The Red House actively seeks and encourages diversity.

"We also work often with several bands," Beethe said. "The Nons released their first album from here."

The Red House has several clients besides bands.

They worked on designs for the "Celebrate Recovery" program for Memorial Road Church of Christ, and they are currently working with a marriage lecturer.

"We just move from one thing to the next," Beethe said. "We acquire clients usually through word-of-mouth."

The Red House uses a grassroots approach to advertising.

They attend several places and events, which builds their number of clients.

They launched their Web site last Sunday, and it can be found at

"We keep our dreams," Beethe said. "We know what we want to do in the future and decided to start now."

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