Contained Aesthetics by Leigh Martin


Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives Brings More Public Art in Second Annual Artist Invitational

Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to combat community deterioration through public art, beautification projects, and placemaking, has selected three local artists through the second annual Artist Invitational program.

The Artist Invitational serves as a platform for a curated group of talented, local artists to submit their ideas for public art and placemaking in downtown Oklahoma City that doubles in purpose: to inspire conversation and wonder downtown and to activate unused space or reinventing existing space in the urban core. Artists were curated by romy owens and were encouraged to submit original ideas that fit this criteria and a selection committee has chosen three stand-out projects.

The three selected artists, Leigh Martin, Amanda Bradway, and adam Lanman, will begin installing their projects as early as February.

Martin will be creating a fiber installation on the fence at the Downtown Basketball Court. The installation will consist of a knitted trumpet creeper vine that will lie flat against the fence. Beginning as a small sprig at the base of the northwest corner fence panel, the vine will “grow” weekly over the span of two months as leaves and blossoms will be added to expand the vine. This temporary installation is intended to remind passersby of the miraculous feat that takes place every day around us as plant life struggles to survive in dense, urban cities. Martin wants to remind the public of the mental and emotional benefits of witnessing natural elements and greenery in our city’s core.

Bradway will be installing a light box of the Oklahoma City skyline along the Bricktown Canal near Oklahoma Avenue. Her inspiration for the light box comes from speaking with local businesses and stakeholders in the area. When the City of Oklahoma City invested in the canal, they created a truly unique attraction and an exclusive pedestrian space. But according to these stakeholders, it may not be as apparent to street-level patrons today that the canal exists to be explored. Bradway’s goal is to bring viewers’ eyes and feet down to canal level to discover and interact with this unique feature of Oklahoma City.

Lanman’s installation is both public artwork and a celebratory display. His piece is a series of colored fabric and metal towers on the Oklahoma City University School of Law’s west plaza. The towers, which visually insert themselves into the downtown skyline, will be made of vertically stacked, color-coded fabric screens, each color representing a significant event in that year’s development in the downtown skyline. A visual color key will be provided at the base of each tower and each panel will include the year it represents printed on the fabric. From providing interaction and shade in the daytime, to iconic additions to the Oklahoma City skyline at night, this project seeks to both delight and inform, shedding a hopeful light on the continued development of the Oklahoma City skyline for years to come.

Check out the renderings below:

Second draft rendering of "Light Box" by Amanda Bradway to be installed on the Bricktown Canal.

"Skyline: Timeline: A Celebration of the Changing Face of Oklahoma City" rendering by adam Lanman. 

"Contained Aesthetics" rendering by Leigh Martin.