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Opinion

November 10, 2012

An iconic image for Norman

NORMAN — The 192-foot high SkyDance sculpture towering over Interstate 40 is a tangible symbol of Oklahoma City’s revitalization.

Motorists marvel at the iconic image and accompanying 380-foot bridge.

Could Norman undertake a similar venture? The city’s public arts board is being challenged to come up with a way to place a significant piece of public art on the new Main Street I-35 interchange.

The I-40 bridge and 105-ton sculpture cost $5.8 million. It was paid for through ODOT federal funds and General Obligation bond authorizations.

Norman has no such mechanism for funding such a large project.

The main source for arts funding is a portion of the city’s hotel/motel room tax. Additionally, donors have been adding public art donations onto their city utilities bill at a rate of about $900 a month.

The largest sculpture to date is on the East Main Street roundabout. Two smaller pieces were installed on West Main near downtown this past week.

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