NORMAN — Thanks to the work of two local artists, the aesthetic appeal of Downtown Norman has been enhanced with the addition of two new sculptures.
Pieces created by Norman artists, Jonathan Hils and Craig Swan, recently were installed on Main Street as part of the West Main Street Sculpture Project, a Norman Public Arts Board project. The sculptures were dedicated Friday night during a ceremony at MAINSITE gallery.
“These two sculptures, much like any piece of public art, helps the public to engage with their surroundings,” PAB chair Larry Walker said. “In other words, as a person stands and views a public piece of art they have their own emotional reaction to the piece. That’s what art does. So the more we have of that, in different styles, the better for the community.”
With themes that represent Oklahoma, Walker said the artists’ works are appropriate for the locations they were installed and add a “new dimension to the visual aspects of Downtown Norman.”
Hil’s sculpture, “Silver Lining,” is installed at Santa Fe Avenue and Main Street and is an abstract representation of Oklahoma weather. The piece ties together the ideas of Norman as both a weather research hub and dynamic artistic community. The cloud-themed piece, water-jet cut from solid steel plate, is shaped by a manipulation of Norman’s downtown city streets and is laid out as a weather vane.
As a sculpture professor at the University of Oklahoma, Hils has ample professional arts experience, but said displaying his work so close to home is a real treat. He hopes his work provides a sense of place for the community.
“A sense of wonder, a sense of being able to contemplate something that is new and different in their everyday lives and remind them that where they are is a special place,” said Hils, on what he hopes the public obtains from viewing his work.