Downtown art project gets new rendering, update

A new rendering by Corey Keller of the Enid downtown art project "Under Her Wing was the Universe." 

ENID, Okla. — Both an update and new rendering were given recently on the downtown art project "Under Her Wing was the Universe."

While construction began on the project earlier this year, it's been delayed during the past three weeks because of weather, said artist Romy Owens. Kline Sign is doing on-site construction and is expected to return to putting up the steel towers as soon as possible.

When primary construction is finished, she said the next step is on-site welding, painting and application of the steel cables. Following that, other work includes pouring the concrete path, placing seating, finishing electrical work, installing lighting, landscaping and finally signage placing.

“I am grateful to be part of creating something that has sparked such passionate conversation about art. Whether people like the art work or not, there is no doubt that more people are talking about public art in Enid than they were two years ago," Owens said.

Oklahoma artist Corey Keller recently created an updated rendering of the walkthrough sculpture for the project. He's an Enid resident and a board game designer, illustrator, podcaster, writer and co-owner of Da Vinci's Coffeehouse and Gelateria, according to Owens. He and his wife returned to Enid in August 2017.

To date, the project has raised $205,292 on a $232,500 funding goal, according to the project's GoFundMe.

"I hope the residents of Enid will demonstrate their support for this project with a donation. All donations received go directly towards the construction and completion of this project. In a community this size, if even 2,500 people donated $10, that would make a huge impact towards reaching the goal," Owens said.

The GoFundMe page shows 1,050 people and organizations have contributed to the project thus far.

Under Her Wing was the Universe is located south of Central National Bank Center between Grand and Independence, with largely individuals and businesses contributing to the project's funding, according to Owens. When the city approved the project's location in 2017, commissioners also approved $30,000 in funding for it.

“If a person stubbed a toe and walked with a limp, that person wouldn’t stop looking nice, wearing clothes, styling their hair, putting on makeup until that toe healed. The same is true in a home. If a house had a leaky faucet, the family wouldn’t stop doing everything fun until that faucet was fixed. They wouldn’t stop watching TV or or listening to music because the faucet had a drip," Owens said. "These metaphors can be applied to a city. Just because there are potholes on the streets, that doesn’t mean we can’t have public art also. In a city budget, art does not compete with infrastructure. They are funded from separate budgets.”

For more information, visit the project's Facebook page Under Her Wing was the Universe, https://www.gofundme.com/under-her-wing-was-the-universe or https://www.romyowens.com/.

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Miller is the city of Enid and area reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @Ryanm_reporter. He can be reached at rmiller@enidnews.com.