UNDER HER WING WAS THE UNIVERSE

selected haiku for permanent signage

As I seek shelter
From the storms of mind and prairie
I see her rising
— Jan Eskridge
Whisper a story
About the prairie wind-song
And the silent stars
— Marsha Gulick
You are not alone
Somewhere out there is a star
With your name on it
— Corey Sanders

PRIMARY CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETE.
the concrete path is in process.
landscaping will start once path is complete.

This rendering shows how the cable will look on the frame.

A prairie, a pavilion, and a universe of stars

CONCEPT STATEMENT : Under Her Wing was the Universe creates a 2.5 acre native prairie landscape comprised of grasses, flowers, and trees. Within the habitat lies a large-scale sculptural pavilion that shelters visitors and invites them to escape into daydreams and possibility. During the day, viewers can experience the work as a sculpture large enough to envelope us whole. During the night, viewers will delight in a thousand stars overhead. It is my goal to create a place on the edge of downtown Enid that awes and inspires and attracts: an outdoor sanctuary for hometown folks to find a newness within their community, as well as an entry-point destination for visitors to discover what makes Enid special. This is contemporary Oklahoma art which nudges us to look forward into the abyss of potential while also encouraging us to hold dear the place from where we come. The concept is driven by intergenerational relationships, encouraging recognition of those who have influenced our individual understanding of how we related to humanity and how we connect with the world around us. 


Angie LaPaglia recites her poem, inspired by my public art project Under Her Wing was the Universe. Video and sound by Chase Bell.


ART FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

Oklahoma Gazette, 2014 | Guest editorial (abridged) by romy owens

Public art is essential to the viability of our community. Yes, education, infrastructure, health care, housing ... yes, of course. However, public art must hold equal value in our conversations about civic improvement.

Moving forward, it is critical that we not take public art for granted.

Art is the mirror that reveals our singularity as a community, civilizes our surroundings, and humanizes our daily experience. Art inspires dreams, conversations and ideas. Art exposes who we are, who we were and who we can be.

Maybe you’re thinking, but isn’t that what the museum is for? Sure. But honestly, art cannot only be available to people who can pay admission, and bluntly, not everyone feels comfortable going to an art gallery. Public art plays a radically different and crucial role because it is accessible to anyone and everyone.

When done well, public art provides us with stimulating experiences in unexpected places. You know you’ll see art when you go to a museum; you don’t expect to see art when you drive through an underpass.

Communities with visible, thoughtful public art thrive because people want to be there. Public art invigorates our sense of place and excites us about where we are. In turn, art bolsters civic fundamentals: pride, economic growth and population retention.

While it is a slower path, public art paves a sustainable path that empowers us to be better. We need to be better.

Regardless of the occupations, religions and backgrounds of our citizens, public art is a powerful and positive force that strengthens and unifies communities. We should embrace it wholeheartedly.

However, the commitment to supply public art cannot solely lie with government (edit: and corporations). Non-government stakeholders carry a moral obligation to create a more dynamic community through art.

What we don’t need in our public art is more bronze sculptures of the olden days. What we crave is bold and challenging art, not controversial or shocking, but for the love of sunshine, we need art that is genuinely engaging and thought-provoking. Whether interactive, permanent or temporary, above all else, let it be captivating.

We need art to rouse self-reflection, awareness about our interconnected lives and about the social sphere we share; and we need the public to rejoice in it.


TECHNICAL PLANS


PROJECT PRESS

APR 30 2017 | Fundraising for public art project underway | Enid News and Eagle
JUN 18 2017 | Oklahoma artists Romy Owens and Adam Lanman reach for the stars...  | NewsOK
JUN 26 2017 | Art approval process underway, plans to bring universal experience to Enid | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 3 2017 | City Considers $30K funding, downtown location for art project | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 5 2017 | Public Arts Commission recommends approval of downtown art | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 6 2017 | Delayed: Enid City Commission tables downtown art project vote | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 7 2017 | Four-hour meeting results in tabling of art project | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 10 2017 | Downtown art project artists holding fundraiser Thursday | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 17 2017 | Commissioners to discuss downtown art project, city attorney's performance | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 19 2017 | City commission approves art project funding in 4-3 vote | Enid News and Eagle
FALL 2017 | Spreading their wings | Art Focus Oklahoma
SEP 12 2017 | Public art project construction to begin soon | Enid News and Eagle
OCT 27 2017 | Downtown art project discussed at Oklahoma Arts Conference | Enid News and Eagle
NOV 7 2017 | Public art project behind schedule | Enid News and Eagle
JAN 7 2018 | Work on downtown public art project continues | Enid News and Eagle
JAN 17 2018 | City commission to hear status of art project | Enid News and Eagle
JAN 18 2018 | Enid city commission hears update on downtown art project | Enid News and Eagle
MAR 29 2018 | Artist relaunches downtown art project fundraiser | Enid News and Eagle
APR 4 2018 | Artists: Electric work on downtown project set to start | Enid News and Eagle
APR 6 2018 | EDITORIAL: Kudos to artist for persistence on evolving downtown art project | Enid News and Eagle
MAY 1 2018 | Park Avenue Thrift contributing additional matching funds to downtown art project | Enid News and Eagle
JUN 13 2018 | PACE approves surface for downtown art project to 'come to life' | Enid News and Eagle
JUN 19 2018 | Downtown art project surfacing to change on word from fire marshal | Enid News and Eagle
SEP 8 2018 | Board considers appeal for downtown art lighting | Enid News and Eagle
NOV 11 2018 | Ready to Create | Enid News and Eagle
NOV 28 2018 | Steel mislabeling delays downtown art construction | Enid News and Eagle
FEB 5 2019 | City to vote on Kaw Lake project, downtown art items Tuesday | Enid News and Eagle
FEB 6 2019 | Commissioners approve Kaw Lake, downtown art items | Enid News and Eagle
FEB 15 2019 | Is This a Great State or What? | KFOR
JUN 6 2019 | Downtown Enid Art Project | Enid Buzz
JUL 22 2019 | Completion nearing for “Under Her Wing” art project | Enid News and Eagle
JUL 23 2019 | Public art adds to city, supporters say | Enid News and Eagle
AUG 20 2019 | City commissioners talk water, art, marijuana | Enid News and Eagle
SEP 5 2019 | Enid artist pushes forward with downtown public art installation despite others’ reservations | KFOR
SEP 24 2019 | City OKs extension on downtown art project, discusses future of Enid Television Network | Enid News and Eagle


THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS:

Universe ($20,000+)
Anonymous
The Bert and Janice Mackie Family Charitable Fund
Public Art Commission of Enid

Explorer ($20,000)
Troy Phillips

Inner Space ($10,000)
Troy Phillips

Terra Firma ($10,000)
Park Avenue Thrift

Solar System ($5,000)
Enid Arts Council
Leah Jones
John Martin
Park Avenue Thrift
Troy Phillips

Satellites ($5,000)
Christy and Scott Northcutt

Constellation ($1,000-$4,999)
Jennifer Alig
amshot
Jessica and Tom Andrew
KC Clifford and David Broyles
Community Development Support Association
Sarah Cook
Creative Arts Enid
Cheri and David Ezzell
First Presbyterian Church of Enid
Fitzsimmons Architects
Diane and Jon Ford
GoFundMe
Jenny, Brent, and Ben Haines
Judith and Richard Heinrichs
Shawn and Greg Hodgen
Sharon and David Hume
Anita and Mark Luetkemeyer
Main Street Enid
Jean and Dean McCollough
Dick McKnight
John McNeese
Carol and Dallas Morris
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition : CAP Grant
Patti and Bruce Overton
Melissa Prophet and Jay Taylor
Purple Ink
The Rodebush Family
Donna and Tom Rogers
Jill and Jens Ruding
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Lin and Ernesto Sanchez
Melissa and Todd Scaramucci
Sandy and Bob Sober
Kari Hirst Starkey and Eric Starkey
Kim and Mike Wallace
Amy Young

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Grassroots ($5-$99)
Abundant Universe Therapy Services
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Sarah Agee
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Kingkini and John Arend
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