Client: Central Oklahoma Parking and Transit Authority
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Completion date: 2021
Martin Donlin Ltd
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art, Inc.
City of Oklahoma City
GC Project Manager
Manhattan Construction Company
Steve Voelker Photography
“What Is The City But The People” Is an artwork that weaves together an eclectic mixture of cultural and natural elements, with inspiration drawn from both ancient and modern worlds.
The artwork was inspired by the multitude of histories, and above all, the people
that unified to create what Oklahoma City is today.
The design is reminiscent of a “Frieze” that wraps around the building to encapsulate, celebrate and honour the particular “Spirit” of Oklahoma citizens. There are just 15 separate colours that make up the entire design. The family of colours are drawn from the earthy tones of the landscape to be set against the beautiful blue skies of Oklahoma. The background imagery is inspired by ancient cultural symbols that have been abstracted to form a rhythmical pattern that is as diverse as the many cultures that give Oklahomans their distinct character.
As the viewer moves around the facility the 40 ft high figures appear and disappear in a parade of colour. From inside the artwork becomes and abstracted field of coloured walls.
The intension was to create an airflow skin to completely wrap around the building that still allows views in and out yet still contain an artwork, the artwork was made possible by the Oklahoma City Percent for Art Programme.
Due to the current confinement I am unable to visit the site from the UK, however, I had the enormous good fortune of meeting up with Project Manager Tony Morton the last time I was in Oklahoma City, Tony took care of all the organisation on the ground, from digitising the whole scheme to overseeing the 4.5 month installation, and everything else in between.
The project has generated a great deal of interest from visitors to the City and I an constantly surprised by the amount of images the public have taken from inside and outside the facility.