Local graduate brings his artistry to Oklahoma

Photo courtesy of Ralph Weidling
METAL FUSION ARTIST and master welder Ralph Weidling is pictured at a Halloween 2021 Art unveiling adventure into the Wichita National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. A 2008 graduate of Coal City High School, Weidling is currently developing a residential property—The Painted Acres—and is looking to Airbnb to take interest in his concept of painted living.

Angela Murrell
Special to the Coal City Courant

Seeing the diamond on an Airbnb posting is intriguing, the symbol of a rare find. A location so unique it makes the traveler want to know more about what sets it apart from other destinations.

Whether it be glamping in a tiny home in Arizona or soaking in the history while staying in a townhouse located in the heart of the District of Columbia, staying in an Airbnb can be an adventure on its own.

As one scrolls through the list of places to book with categories that peak an interest—desert, camping, amazing pools, islands, beach. Then imagine seeing a category titled living painting, certainly a rare find.

Ralph Weidling is looking to make living painting the next idea in destination travel and with a bit of luck his “crazy idea” will be chosen by Airbnb to receive a $100,000 cash prize to put toward the development and evolution of his concept.

A 2008 graduate of Coal City High School, Weidling is a metal fusion artist and master welder currently residing in Oklahoma.

Voted most artistic his senior year, Weidling developed his art and its been said his sculptures manifest his vision.

“Every great transformation has to have a start,” said Weidling, whose work was recently featured in an exhibit at the Tulsa International Airport. Weidling’s creativity is making waves in his community.

Five years ago, Weidling began turning his dream into a reality by developing a residential oasis called The Painted Acres. A property located in northeast Oklahoma, not far from Tulsa.

Combining ecoscaping, permaculture and art into a coexisting environment, there are days you will find him watering the gardens or upkeeping the farm with a bit of environmental therapy.

The ecosystem at The Painted Acres is bountiful and wildlife flourishes across the landscape. Lotuses bloom and the frogs and roosters sing together in the morning. One may be lucky enough to hear the crackle of thunder from a spring storm off in the distance.

The Painted Acres—the concept for what Weidling has submitted to Airbnb for funding—has been a work in progress, from restoring the pond's water quality to pulling countless weeds, his time has been intensive and it continues.

A visit to The Painted Acres is inspiring, finding rest and relaxation should be no problem during ones stay, evolving and growing inside a living painting.

It’s a rare find, a gem to further be developed.