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Crews work to install Bill Barrett's statue "DNA IV" outside The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the OSU campus in Stillwater.

McKnight Center statue dedication ceremony set for Friday

Monday, September 23, 2019

The newest addition to Oklahoma State University’s public art collection, “DNA IV” will be dedicated during a special ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. The event will be co-hosted by OSU and the Oklahoma Arts Council. The monumental piece by award-winning metal sculptor Bill Barrett was installed at the center as part of the university’s commitment to the state’s Percent for Art program, managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Speakers will include OSU President Burns Hargis and Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples. Stillwater-area state legislators participating in the program include Sen. Tom Dugger, Rep. Trish Ranson and Rep. John Talley. The program will also feature a special performance by Perpetual Motion Dance. The event is free and open to the public. 

The purchase of "DNA IV" in partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council fulfills OSU’s commitment to the Art in Public Places initiative. This initiative makes public art available to the community as part of the capital project to build The McKnight Center. In addition, the sculpture is an extension of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

“The sculpture’s visual interpretation of the performing arts is a perfect complement to the remarkable architecture of the McKnight Center,” said Vicky Berry, director of the OSU Museum of Art and chair of the Public Art Committee.

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts is a new state-of-the-art facility with world class programming that will open in October. The center is an expression of OSU’s commitment to the arts and will serve generations of students, performers and audience members.

"We're thrilled to have such a well-known artist display their work outside of the McKnight Center," Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director Mark Blakeman said. “‘DNA IV' is a thought-provoking piece and a physical representation of the commitment to the arts we hope to showcase every day at The McKnight Center." 

“The public art process deepens the connection between universities and the communities they serve,” Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said. “'DNA IV’ will meaningfully contribute to the student experience by engendering pride and provoking dialogue from diverse perspectives. It will be an effective bridge to the Stillwater community, advancing quality of life for thousands of local residents and visitors from outside the area as they engage with the work when attending world class programming at The McKnight Center.”

“DNA IV” will be highlighted during campus tours and in education programs throughout the year that introduce visitors to the university’s ever-growing public art collection.

About the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University will be a world-class epicenter for the arts, attracting celebrated national and international programs featuring notable performing arts productions and artists. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University's commitment to the arts to serve generations of students, performers and audience members alike. Visit for more information.

About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. Each year, the agency provides hundreds of grants to organizations across Oklahoma, organizes professional development for the state's arts industry, and manages the art collections at the Oklahoma state Capitol. The agency also administers the Oklahoma Art in Public Places program, which by law requires 1.5 percent of eligible state capital improvement projects be invested in public art representing the history and values of Oklahoma.

About Bill Barrett
Considered a central figure in the second generation of American metal sculptors, Barrett is a Los Angeles native who has been exhibiting his unique metal sculptures and abstract paintings since the mid-1960s. Aside from the United States, his work has been featured in places such as Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria and Japan. Barrett is represented in numerous private and public collections and his sculptural work was the focus of an exhibition titled “Action Abstraction,” hosted by the OSU Museum of Art in 2017-2018.


MEDIA CONTACT: Mack Burke | editorial coordinator |405.744.5540 |

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