Norman Arts Council
Norman, Oklahoma, United States
Document not uploaded
Norman Arts Council, on behalf of The City of Norman and Norman Forward 1% Percent for Art for the Flood Avenue Roundabout, is seeking an artist (or team of artists) to create a significant work of art for a new roundabout and entrance to downtown Norman, Oklahoma.
This is a multi-lane roundabout that will connect Flood Avenue to the new James Garner Avenue extension and lead traffic directly into downtown Norman and the Walker Arts District without going through neighborhood streets. The site is approximately 50 feet in diameter. This is one of the first multi-lane roundabouts in the State of Oklahoma.
Norman is a growing, progressive city located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City and is the third-largest city in Oklahoma. The citizens of Norman initiated NORMAN FORWARD, a proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund Quality of Life projects, such as multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks, athletic venues, public art, trails, swim complexes and other quality of life projects throughout Norman. The initiative went to the City Council from community groups, stakeholders, and Norman residents, who prepared an initial package using analysis and information from recreational planning professionals and research firms. In 2015, the City Council placed NORMAN FORWARD on a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by Norman voters. For more information about Norman, please see http://www.normanok.gov/cm/norman-forward and www.visitnorman.com.
The land that encompasses Norman was historically the home of many Native Tribes. The Caddo, Osage, Quapaw, and Wichita Tribal Nations are all native to the land that is now Oklahoma. By the early 1800s, the Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho had also migrated into the region or visited to use resources. Some Delaware, Shawnee, Kickapoo, Chickasaw, and Choctaw regularly came to hunt Oklahoma’s abundant bison, beaver, deer, and bear. In the early 1800s, the US assumed control of the area and this became “Indian Territory.” During the Indian Removal Act, many tribes from the eastern US, were forcibly moved to what is now Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The City of Norman was founded in 1889 and the University of Oklahoma followed shortly thereafter in 1890. During WWII, the land that runs along Flood Avenue was a US Navel Base. The University now owns the land, and it is an airport. Near the new roundabout and parallel to James Garner Avenue is Legacy Trail – a walking and biking path that also leads into Downtown Norman. Along the trail are bronze maps and statues that tell the history of Norman. Also parallel to the Trail is a BNSF Railroad. Approximately 25 freight trains pass through Norman daily. The tracks are also used by Amtrak which runs through Norman with a stop twice daily.
The Selection Panel has determined that the most effective artwork will be an iconic three-dimensional sculpture that can be experienced in 360 degrees visibility and centrally located in the roundabout. A concrete pad and electrical are included in the design to accommodate the artwork.
The artwork should create a sense of arrival into Norman and will be the first impression for visitors to the community, therefore could be iconic of Norman. Alternatively, the artwork could be an attraction and not necessarily allude to the identity of the place.
It is important to note that most people who view the work will be drivers. The speed limit at the Roundabout is 30 mph and there will be upwards of 20,000 cars per day that pass by. In addition, the site is visible from both the Amtrak train and those on Legacy Trail as secondary audiences.
This is a very flat and wide-open site with no visible obstructions to the roundabout. The area around the site is immense, and the artwork should be monumental enough to command the open space around it. However, the work needs to consider driver safety and site-lines.
The site is also very windy for much of the year. Wind guests can regularly reach 40 mph. Due to this, we would not recommend a kinetic artwork for this location.
The Selection Panel is open to most media or material that is appropriate to the site if it is durable, safe, low maintenance, and vandalism resistant. However, we do not recommend any reflective materials, as those would pose a danger to drivers.
Weather in Oklahoma is unpredictable – extreme heat and sunlight should be a consideration as should damaging winds (above 40 mph during storms) and hail.
Please see commission document for full project information and application instructions. Click here to apply.