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Midwest City launches public art program

BY KAY HUNT, City of Midwest City Modified: September 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm •  Published: September 25, 2012

MIDWEST CITY -- 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.” The decision to feature the Shetland pony as public art was a throw-back to the 1950s and '60s 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.

The ponies are life like in a standing pose. Made of fiber glass, each pony is approximately 3 feet tall, 3 ½ feet long and 1 foot wide. The ponies are adoptable and will be placed in prominent private or public spaces throughout the community. Each will be mounted to a concrete base, with plaques engraved with the design theme, artist and sponsor’s names.

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