State Bird The Focus Of Next NatureWorks Sculpture

Thursday, March 5th 2015, 6:35 pm
By: News On 6

The bigger than life-sized bronze statues on display in Tulsa's River Parks are hard to miss.

Each year NatureWorks donates a new monument to the city as part of its art show and sale; this year's sculpture - of our state bird - is headed for the airport.

The sculpture isn't just one scissor-tailed flycatcher, but two.

"Flycatchers are such acrobatic aerialists," said artist Bryce Pettit.

Each year the NatureWorks folks decide which wildlife subject will become the next year's monument. Artists submit proposals and, this year, Pettit was selected to create the scissor-tails.

"Last year at this time is when it all started out," he said.

He studied the birds, created the sculpture in clay then it was cast in bronze; all that work was done somewhere else and he had to get the sculpture to Tulsa from Arizona.

He said he drove all day and night Wednesday; the first thing he did when he got here was head for a car wash - with the sculpture in the back of his pickup - to get rid of hundreds of miles of road dirt and snow.

"I really wanted it to feel light and airy, feel like flight," Pettit said.

The featured artist at this year's show is Lyn St. Clair from Montana.

"I live in an old school house on the edge of a ranch north of Yellowstone. I have mountain lions, and bears, and elk, and mule deer and white tails in my yard," she said.

They have become the subjects for her art.

Pettit and Clair are among 51 artists here this year.

The NatureWorks Art Show and Sale is this weekend at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel at 71st and Highway 169.

The statue of the scissor-tails lands at the airport in May.