Local OKC artist Beatriz Mayorca was hard at work with her husband, Juan Brito, and son, Luis Brito, bolting and cabling her seemingly flying aluminum origami Wednesday near the south entrance to the Capitol Hill Library.
It is the latest installation of durable art at a public building funded by the City of Oklahoma City’s One Percent for Arts program.
The art is an addition to the already impressive new Capitol Hill Library at 327 S.W. 27th Street that opened in 2017 and sits on the site of the original Capitol Hill Library.
The title of her three-piece installation is “Never Stop Dreaming … The Sky is the Limit.”
Mayorca explained the theme of the art in a prepared statement before the installation.
“Origami airplane figures create a sculptural arrangement where color, light, and shadows play and fly to unfold a world of possibilities,” she wrote. “They evoke movement, celebration, action, and bring back good memories and emotions.”
Free Press caught her between step-ladder climbs in the process to ask her what getting to installation day means to her, someone who came to the Capitol Hill area from Venezuela when she was 33.
“This means a lot,” said Mayorca. “This is very special to me because what the Capitol Hill people want is a piece that speaks to the Latinx community.”
She said that the symbolism of flight is significant in that local historians say the first airplane to land and take off in Oklahoma City was on the site of the Capitol Hill Library.
But, the origami instead of an airplane in the symbolism is to achieve even more symbolism than just traditional airplane flight themes.
“I chose origami, not only because I really like playfulness pieces, but also that they … intertwine math, art, science, and about the library and what we can learn here,” Mayorca said.
Culture and knowledge
We asked Kim Terry with the Metro Library System why they thought it was important to have the exterior art when so many think the real action is inside the library.
“The libraries are … an institution of culture and knowledge. So it’s not just the books inside, but the public art that people can come and enjoy and see.”
“We want people to experience the library by coming in, checking out the books, and looking at the public art and enjoying it,” Terry said.
Randy Marks was present to watch the installation go in. He is the City of Oklahoma City’s Public Art Project Manager and was a part of the process of getting the Capitol Hill project to installation day.
“Every project that the City builds – its buildings and parks – 1% of the construction budget goes to art for that facility. So that’s where the money came from for this,” Marks said.
Marks said that the funding for the One percent project comes from the 2007 General Obligation bond that was passed by voters and is used for such other things as Better Streets, Safer Cities, etc.
“So the way this works, the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs does the call to artists,” explained Marks. “The selection committee that’s puts together the project chooses generally three or four finalists. There were four on this one. And Beatriz Mayorca was the winner.”
He said Capitol Hill Library staff were a part of the selection process, also.
Expansion to outdoors
Christopher Stofel, head librarian for the Capitol Hill Library said that the art installation would engage people visually as they walk into the main entrance.
He talked about the value of the references to early flight in Oklahoma.
But, he also said, “it adds a usable element to the outside area. Right now there’s no shade out there.”
Stofel said that with the installation, they now plan to put outdoor furniture in the area to give the patio area near the front door more use.
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