Rotary Announces $700,000 Sculpture for Williams Green

Rotary Announces $700,000 Sculpture for Williams Green

BENEFICIAL TO ALL: “Rotary Plaza” with five bronze sculptures will be placed on the Williams Center Green by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to celebrate the approaching centennial of the civic club, the seventh largest in the world. In the background is the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

To celebrate the approaching centennial of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, the club announced that it will install a $700,000 “Rotary Plaza” with five bronze sculptures on Williams Center Green.

The sculptures by noted Tulsa artists Jay O’Meilia and David Nunneley will represent the volunteer spirit and philanthropy of Tulsans. Installation of the plaza, located along Third Street, is expected by late spring.

“We’ve reached a significant milestone in landing the perfect location for this significant gift of public art to the people of Tulsa,” says Bob Lengacher, chairman of the project committee. “It is most fitting that these beautiful bronzes will reside on the Williams Center Green.”

Lengacher said that a number of downtown locations were considered, “but we kept coming back to the Green.”

“The site provides high pedestrian traffic and drive-by appeal,” notes Lengacher. “In addition, the Rotary project will inspire future renovation and improvements to the Green itself.”

Securing the location required approval of the Tulsa Parking Authority, which owns the Green, and the Tulsa Arts Commission. Former Mayor Kathy Taylor was also a strong proponent of the project.

Four individual bronzes representing the contributions of Rotary in Tulsa and around the world will surround a 12-ft. bronze globe, which signifies the worldwide presence of Rotary in 200 countries.

Tim Colwell, project co-chair, said that the four slightly larger-than-life sculptures will feature major initiatives of Rotary that have dramatically improved the lives of others:

• Freedom from Polio. A sculpture of a young woman casting away crutches thanks to Rotary International’s drive to eradicate polio worldwide.
• Mentoring Youth. A bronze of a Tulsa Rotarian working with a student from its partner Celia Clinton Elementary School.
• Drinkable Water. A sculpture of a woman carrying water from one of the 150 wells drilled in Nicaragua by volunteers from the Tulsa club.
• World Understanding Through Youth Exchanges and Scholarships. A bronze of a high-school student with a backpack, signifying the student exchange programs and international scholarship opportunities provided through Rotary.

Currently, design of the plaza is taking place, while the castings of the five bronze sculptures are being made at a foundry in Colorado.

Founded in 1915, the Rotary Club of Tulsa has contributed to growth and improvement of the city. The club played significant roles in the creation of Tulsa Boys Home, Children’s Medical Center and the forerunner of the Tulsa Area United Way. The club founded Rotary District 6110’s Medical Supplies Network, where container loads of unneeded medial equipment are regularly shipped to third world countries. In 2007, the club raised funds to purchase and preserve the Beryl Ford Collection of historic Tulsa artifacts and photos.

With nearly 500 members, the club is seventh largest of 32,000 Rotary clubs in the world.

Updated 02-09-2010

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