Public art soon will be added to the new plaza outside the entry of the renovated Cox Business Convention Center, 100 Civic Center. As part of the Vision Tulsa renovation project, installation of Andrew Ramiro Tirado’s “Highlight” (see attached poster) is scheduled to begin on April 12. Installation of the large sculpture is expected to take about two weeks, weather permitting. A dedication is scheduled for May 7.
The sculpture “Highlight” consists of three elements – a plug, an electrical cord and a light bulb – representing Tulsa’s past, present and future. The artist Tirado explains his intent for the meaning of the piece:
Tirado created the light bulb and plug in his studio in Colorado Springs, Colo. The electrical cord has been fabricated in Tulsa at American Pipe Bending. The budget for this artwork was $430,000 from the Vision Tulsa sales tax.
“Public art is like a coat hook – something on which to hang one’s perception of place,” Tirado said. “As with architecture and landscape design, creating public art means that while you might envision the possibilities, it’s really the public that ultimately decides how they want to relate to or interact with the work.”
The $54 million renovation completed in summer 2020 improved the Cox Business Convention Center east entrance with a three-story glass entryway and replaced the plaza bridge with an accessible, landscaped public plaza gathering area. Replacing the former arena, the 42,000 square-foot Grand Hall makes Tulsa the home of the two largest ballrooms in Oklahoma, both in the Cox Business Convention Center: the Tulsa Ballroom completed in a Vision 2025 project, and the new Grand Hall.
Other features of the 2020 renovation include a new 27,000 square foot kitchen, box office, greatly increased natural light, green room, tasting room, and finishing kitchen on the event level. This renovation allows the Cox Business Convention Center to accommodate top quality conventions and business events on a larger scale than before.
About Vision Tulsa
Vision Tulsa, an $884 million sales tax renewal package approved by voters in 2016, is making substantial investments in economic development, education, public safety, streets and transportation needs citywide. With citizen priorities providing the driving force behind the creation of Vision Tulsa, transformative projects and enhancements are setting the stage for a bright future for Tulsa.