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City Of Tulsa Dedicates New Public Art Work 'Highlight'

highlight_sculpture.jpg
Matt Trotter
/
KWGS
Artist Andrew Ramiro Tirado speaks at the dedication for his sculpture, "Highlight," on Friday outside the Cox Business Convention Center.

The City of Tulsa hosted a dedication Friday for new public art at the Cox Business Convention Center.

Andrew Ramiro Tirado’s "Highlight" stretches across the steps of the new plaza on the building’s east entrance.

It consists of a two-prong plug that looks a lot like the Blue Dome building and symbolizes Tulsa’s past; an electrical cord fashioned from bent, blue metal that symbolizes the present as the link from past to future;  and a yellow light bulb that can be illuminated.

Tulsa Arts Commission Chair Holbrook Lawson tied "Highlight" into Tirado’s other works.

"Intrinsically, Tirado’s sculptures send meanings of help, strength, care and love, and what could be a more expressive and evocative vehicle than a light bulb? An illuminating, hopeful, encouraging and delightful beacon in the chaotic world in which we live," Lawson said.

City Councilor Kara Joy McKee spoke about the new piece in her district at the dedication.

"Art is so very human, and when you see this behind me — connected, woven, ascending, at night, glowing — it says something about who we are and who we want to be," McKee said.

Tirado said the light bulb is the focal point of "Highlight," and it has two distinct meanings, especially as the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre approaches.

"It speaks of a bright and shining future for Tulsa, of an inventive, innovative one; however, and from the get-go, the bulb speaks to the notion of shedding light on the subject," Tirado said.

"Highlight" was paid for out of a Vision Tulsa sales tax program requiring 1% of all public construction costs be spent on art.

"We had an opportunity to put in place public art that would be a real attraction for people. It wouldn’t just be an amenity of the facility that we were updating," said Mayor G.T. Bynum.

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