Client: Oklahoma State Firefighters Association
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Completion date: 2001
Artwork budget: $63,000
Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum
Culver and Associates
Flintco Construction Company
This memorial honors the Living and Fallen Firefighters of Oklahoma. The steel structure holds two 9 feet tall bronze sculptures. The granite walls are engraved with the names of 15,000 Oklahoma firefighters. Shahla worked with the overseeing committee constisting of: The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association Board of Directors, the Director of the Arts Council of Oklahoma, an architectural firm, a structural engineering firm, 3 steel fabrication companies, Landscape designers and an electrical engineering firm. The artist enlarged the sculptures from an 18-inch model to a 9-foot tall sculpture herself and directed the casting and installation of the work.
The artwork is the focal point of the entire memorial site and it reflects the brotherhood and unity between the firefighters. The site includes the sculpture, fountain, eternal flame, granite slabs and ante rooms. The names of firefighters the made the ultimate sacrifice are list on the wall of valor and the names of all firefighters in the state that completed 20 years of service are engraved in the granite slabs. It was very important that the sculpture reflect the extreme commitment of firefighters to their brother and sister firefighters.
The sculpture was designed by the artist and the memorial plaza was a collaboration between her and her architectural team. The Architectural firm, Culver and Associates created the site plans for the site and then the direction of the committee, the Flintco Construction Company started the building of the project. At the same time, the artist started to work on the 9' tall figures in the clay. Within 3 months the figures were completed and were sent to the foundry to be casted in bronze. While the progress was being made on the construction of the site, Shahla worked with a fabrication company to create the "Eternal Flame" sculpture in polished stainless steel. The City of the Oklahoma City and the Arts Commission approved the project and then it was accepted by the Oklahoma City Mayor and entire council. The construction of this memorial started in September 1999, and on June 2001 Governor Frank Keating dedicated the memorial.