Public art project behind schedule

A public art project in downtown Enid is currently delayed.

Oklahoma City artist Romy Owens, an Enid native, updated the Enid City Commission on the "Under Her Wing was the Universe" sculpture during a study session Tuesday night.

"We are, obviously, a little behind schedule for reasons that are completely out of my control, which is, namely, the steel," she said.

The steel has still not been fabricated. 

Owens said she understands once fabrication is started, it will take 15 to 17 work days to roll the steel. That is being done in Tulsa. When it is rolled, it will go to Oklahoma City, where it will be cut to length and some attachments and welding will occur. It will then be primed and delivered to the Enid site.

"Realistically, we're looking at after Christmas, just based upon estimates," she said.

Ward 3 Commissioner Ben Ezzell noted the first manufacturer's machine broke after the steel already was about a month late.

Owens said there have been minor design changes, but those have been run past city staff members.

"At the end of August, we had a design that was over budget for the surface. The structure itself stays exactly the same. Like, we're there with that. The pipe is ordered. Everything about the layout, and the movement, and the bend and the arches of the steel stays the same," she said. "What the surface of the skin had been designed with was potentially several different materials: perforated mesh, metal mesh. And we've moved away from that and we're going to work with something that will still create the shade, will still incorporate stability and allow for structural engineering of windflow.

"It will be a series of ropes and cables that will be designed in a very pleasing and lightweight material."

City Manager Jerald Gilbert asked that an updated rendering be provided so the commissioners can view it.

"They're concerned that hopefully it hasn't changed much from what you've shown, originally, because they would need to be made aware of that," he said.

Owens said the look and feel remains "very much the same."

The sculpture will be located south of the Central National Bank Center south parking lot.

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Involved in news reporting for about 15 years, I've been with the Enid News & Eagle since 2014, when my family moved to Enid to be on the family farm.

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