The City of Midwest City has recently launched an exciting, new public art project known as, Ponies on Parade. This is a citywide art project created to enliven cultural activity in Midwest City. Each Shetland pony will be designed to represent the City’s theme of, “Where the Spirit Flies High.”
Currently, local developer, Douglas Development Corporation is sponsoring two ponies. One is being designed by the Midwest City High School art class and once finished, will be displayed at Bowling Green Center, 1201 S. Douglas Blvd. The second one is being designed by the Carl Albert High School art class and will be displayed at Rose Rock Center, corner of E. Reno Ave. and Post Road.
The decision to feature the Shetland pony as public art was a throw-back to the 1950’s and 60’s when Midwest City founder, W.P. ‘Bill’ Atkinson gave away a pony to families that purchased a new home in the Ridgecrest Addition. It was an effective marketing strategy that generated many home sales in the addition and provided endless pleasure to the children in the families.
For several years, the children enjoyed riding their own ponies throughout the newly formed community or when they visited the Atkinson Pony Barn.
“When we first began to consider creating a public art program, many ideas were suggested. But, we wanted the program to have significance to the community and the idea of creating artful Shetland ponies was adopted because of the historic connection,” said J. Guy Henson, City Manager.