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Downtown Public Art Initiative Announces First Project

Matt Trotter

Artist James Woodfill will install Oklahoma’s first temporary public art project in downtown Tulsa.

His working title is “Fireflies” for a work that will be unveiled at Third and Detroit in April. Woodfill said the subtle, shifting LED installation will reflect the relationship between the urban Midwest and the surrounding environment.

"I've thought about it in many ways over the years in different kinds of configurations, but it became a balancing act of the idea of a temporary project, the particular budgets and everything, and it seemed feasible to do," Woodfill said.

Woodfill said his past success with public projects earned him this opportunity.

"But at the same time, I want to kind of push my envelope a little bit and try to extend out into the realm of what's possible in a way that a permanent project just wouldn't let me do," he said.

“Fireflies” will be on display in front of the Mimosa Tree-Pinnacle building at Third and Detroit for one year starting April 2. Vince LoVoi volunteered to host the installation in front of the building he partly owns.

"It's on the National Historic Register, it's a block away from the Performing Arts Center, from city hall, from Fassler Hall and the entertainment district, so it's a very good location," LoVoi said. "And the sight lines from the high rises are particularly good."

The Tulsa Arts Commission endorsed the project, which is being funded through private donations.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.