For the past 15 years, fiberglass buffalo statues have been standing in front of City Hall and at Central Park. Over the years the weather has caused the painted designs to fade and the fiberglass to deteriorate, so the city recently removed both statues and had them completely repaired. Now they are partnering with Create Ardmore to find two artists to repaint both buffalo with new designs.
Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said the new contest is similar to the original project. The statues were part of a statewide project called “Spirit of the Buffalo” sponsored by the Nature Conservancy that placed similar statues all over Oklahoma. Artists state wide contributed to the project, but this time around the city is looking for someone a bit closer to home.
“This is an open competition to all the artists in the area, and we only have a basic set of guidelines outlining what can and cannot be painted on them,” Boatright said. The rules of the contest are straight forward: no politics, no religion, no advertising, no nudity, and no profanity. “We’re really interested in seeing the artists ideas when we make our selection.”
Design proposal forms will soon be available online at both the city’s website, www.ardmorecity.org, and Create Ardmore’s website, www.createardmore.org. They will also be available to pick up at City Hall, the Ardmore Public Library, and the Parks and Recreation office. Forms will have the statue’s dimensions as well as an outline of the buffalo where artists can sketch their design. All design proposals must be submitted to the office of Kevin Boatright, assistant city manager, by Monday, December 2.
The winning designs will be selected by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the City Commissioners, and the artists will receive a $250 paint allowance from the Ardmore Beautification Council as well as $500 from Create Ardmore after the statue has been painted.
“Once the designs are awarded in January, we’ll work with the artists to transport (the statues) to the artist’s workspace,” Boatright said. The city will help the artist find a location if they do not have a workspace of their own. “We’re asking that they be done with their work probably by sometime in April, and then we’ll have a public reveal in front of City Hall and at Central Park. Hopefully they’ll be there for another 10 years plus.”