Virga - CODAworx


Client: Oklahoma Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs

Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $350,000

Project Team


Cliff Garten

Cliff Garten Studio

Project Manager

Matthew Gilio-Tenan

Cliff Garten Studio


The inspiration for Virga comes from the dynamic forms of the land and sky of Oklahoma. The earth meeting the sky is a common site in Oklahoma, but one of the most interesting aspects of the landscape is the sky and its clouds that take such spectacular form over the land. The connection of clouds to precipitation and water is also a connection to the North Canadian or Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City. Virga connects the river on land to the water in the sky by conflating the images of the river and the clouds into the sculpture Virga. Virga are cumulus clouds with a tail of precipitation that evaporates before reaching the ground. The sculpture Virga connects the sky and the earth, implying the water of the Oklahoma River traveling on the land and the water vapor tail of the clouds in the sky are part of the same water cycle in the expansive landscapes of Oklahoma. The 150’ long aluminum sculpture is activated by changing LED light from the surrounding ceiling. Its illumination is evident during the day because of the low light level of the lobby and is far more pronounced at night.


The goal of this project is to activate the gathering space in the Event Center of the Oklahoma State Fair. 150' of LED illuminated sculpture energizes the lobby area both day and night. The forms relate to the big Oklahoma sky and the Oklahoma River.