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Motorists approaching the East Central University campus may do a double-take the first time they see a giant silhouette of a horse looming where houses once stood in the 800 block of East 12th Street.

Students in the Sculpture II class at ECU built the large-scale silhouette as the first installed work in a sculpture garden that has begun taking shape in the heart of the new Arts District of Ada.

The Horse, which is 27 feet tall and 19 feet wide, also serves as part of the public sculpture aspect of the Sculpture II curriculum, said instructor Aaron Hauck, assistant professor of art. Students deal with planning the sculpture, constructing maquettes (models), securing a site location, developing a proposal, acquiring permits and actual construction of the sculpture.

"Fabricating the sculpture polishes the students' skills in welding, plasma cutting and fastening," Hauck said.

Students in the class were Scott Johnson, Angela Mackey, Mackenzie Miller and Erin Wetherill.

"Projects like this are very unusual for undergraduates," said Dr. Brad Jessop, chair of ECU's Department of Art, "and would not be possible without the support of Landmark Bank and Mark Landrum."

The silhouette horse sculpture project was commissioned by Landrum, chairman of Landmark Bank, and underwritten by a $10,000 contribution to the East Central University Foundation Inc., said Jim Vidmar, vice president and regional marketing director of the bank.

"The horse imagery portrayed in the student sculpture project coincides with horse sculptures by artist Doug Owen that Mr. Landrum has placed at Landmark's banking centers in Oklahoma and Texas," Vidmar said.

The Horse also was a result of community partnerships. The 1120th Maintenance Company of the Oklahoma National Guard in Ada provided the equipment and manpower for lifting and erecting the heavy sculpture, using it as a training exercise. Dewayne Johnson of Holdenville provided portable welding equipment, and other assistance came from ECU's Physical Plant, Fastenal of Ada and Jessop.

A photo gallery of the sculpture project and its installation can be viewed at /thp.

The sculpture park will serve to enhance the area and assist with the economic development aspects of the arts district by providing an additional destination site for tourists to the area, Jessop said.

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