The final vote held by the City Commission to approve $49,000 of hotel/motel tax funds was held Monday, April 13 at City Hall. Two of the four city commissions attended the meeting remotely, while Paul Taylor and Mayor Homer Nicholson attended in person.
Before the final vote was taken, Kelsey Wagner spoke briefly about the project, summarizing the mural project journey to this point.
"First, I’d like to thank the City Manager, the Mayor, the Commissioners and the other city staff who have allowed us to pursue this project, and who have offered a hand of support. We appreciate everything you have done, and this project would not be possible without your support, so on behalf of Ponca City Main Street and all the mural donors, thank you.
I wanted to say a few words about this project before the vote, something to recap the journey where we started and where it’s taken us.
On January 12, 2018, Rick Sinnett made his first visit to Ponca City. Since that day over two years ago, he’s made dozens of trips up here to examine the mural site.
For those of us involved in the process of planning, the last two years have been spent raising money, scheduling meetings, speaking with lawyers, filling out paperwork and figuring out logistics of painting two mega murals – this process has been a journey.
It hasn’t always been easy, but I see now that the process was necessary.
When I look back on it, every step was essential. Every step made us look inward and question our dedication to this project.
Every setback made those of us driving this project forward to re-evaluate whether or not we were 100% in…and every step of the way, the answer was yes.
Donors stepped up, community advocates stepped up, art supporters stepped up. With every possible setback, the unequivocal answer was – yes, we believe in this project, and we will see it to the end.
Even now, as our world faces a novel pandemic, the art that has been planned for over a year has taken on new meaning.
The East side mural, Oklahoma Sunrise, portrays an image of a butterfly transforming after metamorphosis, a symbol of transformation, rebirth and of thriving after diversity. That image takes on new meaning now.
And the West Side mural, “The Beauty of Life,” a piece of art dedicated to reminding us of the brevity of life, the endless and never-ending circle of life and death and the only constant we can rely on – change.
As we transform and change, I hope these murals can become a symbol of persistence in the face of adversity and hope in a brave new future, for America, for Oklahoma and especially for Ponca City."
The mural project will begin immediately, first with the creation of the giant stencils. The painting is scheduled to begin within 30-60 days.
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Who is funding the Project?
The Ponca City Grain Elevator Mural Project, in conjunction with the John McNeese, the city of Ponca City, Ponca City Main Street and other private donors is a joint public/private partnership to further enhance downtown's vibrant image, and to also provide a positive economic impact to downtown businesses.
Phase 1, 100% Complete!