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Singing Heart

Allan Houser sculpture gift elevates OSU’s public art initiative

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Oklahoma State University has made a significant step advancing its initiative of integrating renown public art on campus with the installation of Singing Heart, a sculpture by Allan Houser.

The sculpture will be located in the Mother’s Garden on the west side of the Atherton Hotel. It will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony hosted by OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis at 3 p.m. Oct. 26.

Singing Heart, gifted by Jeanene Jenkins Hulsey (class of ‘67) and Ron Hulsey, will be an extension of the OSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Jenkins Hulsey is an active member of the OSU Museum of Art Advisory Board and OSU Art Advisory Council. The Hulseys have been committed patrons of the museum since its inception. The couple live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden is located.

“The OSU campus is widely regarded as America’s most beautiful campus, and it’s our hope that this sculpture contributes to that beauty,” Jenkins Hulsey said. “Our appreciation for Houser’s work coupled with his Oklahoma background and love for education made this sculpture seem like a fitting addition. We strongly believe that the exposure of art on campus will inspire new ways of thinking and integrate a valuable element of education.”

Houser (1914-1994), an Oklahoma-born Chiricahua Apache artist, is considered one of the most renowned American Indian modernist sculptors of the 20th century. His formal study of art lasted only from 1934 to 1939 but his work is included in the Smithsonian Institution, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House and the British Royal Collection as well as hundreds of others across the United States. 

“Singing Heart honors the many cultures and opportunities to celebrate art at OSU,” said Victoria Berry, director of the OSU Museum of Art and chair of the OSU Public Art Committee. “This sculpture is an instrumental component and one of the first major acquisitions of OSU’s high-priority public art initiative."

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