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Oklahoma City sculptor makes 'Slam Dunk' with art piece

Oklahoma City sculptor Jim Stewart's “Slam Dunk” art piece on display at the Festival of the Arts has attracted interest from both Oklahoma City and Dallas NBA fans.
by Carla Hinton Published: April 28, 2012

An Oklahoma City artist said his sculpture on display at the Festival of the Arts has caught the eye of Dallas residents, as well as individuals in Oklahoma City.

But Jim Stewart, 69, said he doesn't want to see his art piece titled “Slam Dunk” go south of the Red River.

Sure, the abstract art sculpture of a larger-than-life basketball player is a striking “Thunder blue” color and is meant to capture the spirit of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team. Of course, Stewart said Dallas folks have pointed out that their Dallas Mavericks NBA team members also wear the blue hue.

Nevertheless, Stewart said he is hoping that the $48,000 sculpture will find a permanent home in Oklahoma City because it was inspired by the Thunder's growing popularity, the fondness with which he and many city area residents feel for the team's players.

He said the Thunder have helped spark Oklahoma City's downtown revitalization.

“We've lived here all our lives. We've seen the renaissance,” Stewart said Friday.

“I get a thrill when I drive across the (Oklahoma) river and I see things happening. If anything, it's (the Thunder) pulled our city together.”

Artist enjoyed every minute of work

Stewart, owner of Stewart Designs, said a friend initially suggested the he create a basketball player sculpture, but it wasn't until last year's Festival of the Arts, which coincided with one of the Thunder's playoff games, that Stewart decided to follow his friend's advice.

“With the Thunder mania as such, I thought ‘I'm going to pursue this,'” he said.

Stewart said he started with sketches, looking at numerous pictures of basketball players to hone in on their movement.

And of course, the artist said he and his wife, Linda, have watched many Thunder games on television and attended a few of the games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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