View Full Version : OKC Arts Commission seeks artists for new citywide display

08-02-2007, 01:47 PM
OKC Arts Commission seeks artists for new citywide project

Sculptures to be selected for yearlong public display

The Oklahoma City Arts Commission is conducting a nationwide search for artists to participate in a juried sculpture competition and exhibition that will begin in October 2007. The Commission will select up to eight outdoor sculptures to be displayed in a central location within the metro as part of a broader, ongoing public arts initiative sponsored by the City of Oklahoma City. At the end of the yearlong exhibition, at least one of the pieces will be purchased for permanent display. Artists interested in submitting entries must do so by August 14.

The competition is the first of its kind for the Arts Commission, which patterned the program after similar public arts campaigns in other U.S. cities. The project is intended to provide increased opportunities for artists to exhibit and market their works, to create an interest in art in both public and private venues, and to enhance Oklahoma City’s cultural diversity and aesthetic.

“Public art initiatives can provide multiple benefits to cities, including economic ones,” said Jim Hasenbeck, chairman of the city’s Arts Commission. “They draw business leaders and tourists, incite conversation, and provide citizens with the opportunity to experience art or art forms not otherwise available to them on a regular basis. This initiative gives us the opportunity to put our own cultural stamp on the city by showcasing a variety of art forms that reflect who we are as a people.”

According to Hasenbeck, that means bringing in art that is family friendly. “Our number one priority is to ensure that all art chosen is accessible to as many audiences as possible, including children,” he said. “We might not always agree on what art is, but we can certainly all agree on what is appropriate for our City and our local culture.”

A selection committee comprised of five members of the Arts Commission and three local independent gallery owners will review the entries and select the finalists. The recommended pieces will be presented to City Council for final approval, with a goal of completing installation by October.

The Commission will reimburse artists for transportation and installation of the work, and insure the pieces while on site. Funds for the project were approved by City Council as part of the FY 2008 budget in June 2007.

Hasenback also notes this type of program will prove much more cost effective in the long run. “By exhibiting this art on a temporary basis, we are not only saving money, but are giving our community the opportunity to try this new concept before making a more significant investment,” he said.

At the end of the exhibition, one of the sculptures will be purchased for permanent display by the Arts Commission. In addition, commission members will work throughout the year with local corporate partners and individual citizens for the purchase of additional pieces. The intent is to provide as many permanent pieces as possible through corporate purchase awards, with the ultimate goal of having 100 works of art displayed at public places throughout the metro area.

The competition is open to all artists aged 18 and older residing in the United States. Any sculpture entered into the competition must be complete and ready for installation at the time of delivery. Artists may enter a maximum of three completed works. Work must be suitable for outdoor installation and be capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions, including extremes in temperature and Oklahoma’s high winds. All works must have been completed within the last three years and not previously exhibited in Oklahoma City.

Entry details and application forms for artists are available by visiting the City’s website at City of Oklahoma City | Arts Commission (, or by calling (405) 297-2212. Entry deadline is August 14, 2007. The Arts Commission is part of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Commission meetings are held the third Monday of each month at the Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center.

08-02-2007, 02:29 PM
Thanks, I've been meaning to post it, but lost the article. It's a fairly old article, at least a month or two, but it is definitely good for the city. I guess it's a small start to something that will hopefully increase in the future.

08-02-2007, 10:16 PM
I work for an arts organization and the Parks Dept just brought the info on this contest to us last week, so I don't think this is an old article, Metro. The news release on the city's website is actually dated 8/2, so it's just recently been announced.

Either way, I think public art is a good thing, when done correctly. I like this approach. It will add beauty to our city while sparking an interest and discussion in art.

08-03-2007, 09:53 AM
To clarify, the City approved the funding in June, and a small article was written about that in the Oklahoman, but the commission just finalized the details of the exhibition, and put out the call to artists this past week.