Authorities force local artist to take down political art projection at State Capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A local artist had a message for state lawmakers, and he put it right on the side of the Capitol.

But now, his artwork is gone after a run-in with the highway patrol.

An Oklahoma musician and political activist shined bright at 23rd and Lincoln.

Local artist Jack Fowler had a strong message for leaders at our state capitol.

On Woody Guthrie's guitar were the words "How Did It Come To This."

"He had a choice last night, to exercise his artistic liberty, or to be arrested and potentially have that property seized," ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said.

Fowler was not welcomed when he arrived at the Capitol Wednesday night with a generator to run his projector.

He said he was swarmed by state troopers and threatened to be arrested if he set up his equipment again.

Fowler says no one would tell him what law he was breaking.

"They're communicating to other Oklahomans that may be interested in stepping out and using their voice to communicate a political message, that if you do this, you do so under threat of arrest or having your property seized. That's incredibly chilling," Kiesel said.

An OHP spokesperson told NewsChannel 4 that Fowler didn't have a permit to be there.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Enterprise services said in part, "we appreciate the creativity displayed, but such action could have significant consequences, cause safety issues for crews working at night and is prohibited."

"It's difficult to say he's trespassing, how can light itself be trespassing. It's difficult to say it's nuisance because you have light already broadcasting on the buildings," Kiesel said.

Fowler says he won't return to the Capitol and didn't want to do an interview Thursday because the story isn't about him.

He says it's a message that sure got a lot of people talking.

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