50th Anniversary Public Art Project

West side of Classen Blvd, divider between NW 9TH and 7TH streets


At OKC Beautiful’s 50th Anniversary “Golden Garden Gala” in 2018 we raised nearly $38,000 to install a public art project to bring some color and life to the Classen Boulevard divider between NW 7th and 9th. Over the last year, we have worked with Robbie Kienzle at OKC office of Arts & Cultural Affairs along with a selection committee of community members, artists, and OKC Beautiful staff and board members to select our artist. We are thrilled to announce that after reviewing 22 submissions, conducting site visits, and interviewing three finalists - we have selected our artist for the project, Joe Slack

Joe is a wood and metal sculptor working and living in Oklahoma City. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Oklahoma City University. Joe says about his work, “You could define my sculptures as primitive inspired art with a modern spin and a touch of humor. People should sum up the art and titles with their own perspectives on the work, not mine. That’s what is great about art, it’s interpretative not concrete.” The project will be a colorful combination of paint and metal work that is unique and reflective of the surrounding community. The installation will depict characters of various shapes and sizes dancing in an Oklahoma thunderstorm.

A statement from Joe about the project: “In the process of thinking about creating a beautiful piece of art for OKC Beautiful, I had to question myself, ‘What is beautiful to the community and to me?’ I was stumped, I have an offbeat brand of beautiful. An image of my neighbors three little kids dancing in puddles under their carport during a recent thunderstorm popped into my head. That to me was beautiful and distinctly Oklahoman. I want this piece to evoke smiles from our elders and spark the imaginations of our youngsters. This piece will be 1,364 steps away from my studio where I plan to stay forever as well as 1,254 steps from the lot where I’m going to build my house. This is central to the community I want to be a part of and contribute to and help grow.” The project is set for completion in Fall 2019.