NORMAN — Five sculptures created by University of Oklahoma art students have been installed in Lions Park, next to the Firehouse Art Center, 444 S Flood Ave. A sixth sculpture will be installed in the summer. The sculptures will remain on display through August.
The six student artists, under the direction of professor Jonathan Hils, were selected by the Norman Arts Council to participate in this project.
Hils asked students to create professional proposals to present for consideration as if they were applying for a professional civic sculpture commission. Erinn Gavaghan, director of the Norman Arts Council, and Larry Walker, chairman of the city’s Public Arts Board, listened to the student proposals that included presenting a model of the proposed artwork and a written narrative addressing why the work was relevant for inclusion in a public, outdoor exhibition.
Chosen to create works for installation in the park as part of the exhibition were students Rani Cozad, Megan Schwann, Anna Lipscomb, Ryan Harris, Alexis Dickens and Amy Sanders.
The works are diverse and include an abstracted and elegant figurative sculpture; a sculpture that speaks to unity and inclusion through a simple “+” symbol; a work that includes a substantial wind chime; and a refined geometrical sculpture. One student incorporated technology that will use solar power and LED lighting, and another used a thermochromatic paint that changes color and becomes clear with temperature changes. The majority of these works are made of steel, but also include cement, acrylic and interactive technology.
The class project exposes students to real-world professional practice and gives them insight into all the facets of creating public artwork for a community or civic organization, Hils said.
One purpose of the project was to get students involved in their community while also allowing them to explore their creativity. The project also provides a benefit to the Norman community as the works are funded through the OU School of Art & Art History, the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and the OU Honors College through two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants, Hils said.
“The events held in the park this summer should be enhanced by the added visual experience along the sculpture walk and provide a further bolstering of the Norman’s extensive cultural attractions,” Hils said. “We hope the Norman community embraces these works of art and enjoys what these talented students have created.”
To learn more
For more information on the OU School of Art & Art History, go to www.art.ou.edu.