Designs sought for SCI crosswalk art project in Shawnee

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
The northwest corner of 9th Street and Louisa. Home of South Central Industries.

The corner of 9th and Louisa will soon be sporting an artistic flair all its own as a collaboration effort seeks to bring attention to its crosswalks — and more importantly, cause drivers to slow down through the area.

South Central Industries, the City of Shawnee and Blue Zones Project Pottawatomie County are putting the callout for design submissions for the pilot project in downtown Shawnee.

The callout is open to artists living in Oklahoma, with a preference for Pottawatomie County artists.

“The goal is a colorful, art deco, mosaic crosswalk design strategically placed in a high-traffic area to enhance public safety and improve walkability for nearby residents and pedestrians around the South Central Industries Campus,” the RFP states.

The goal of the design is to help instill a sense of place for this gateway into downtown Shawnee.

“We anticipate the design to be vibrant, original and eye-catching, making it easier for our community and visitors to see while walking and driving,” the RFP reads.

The street canvas is to consist only of the north/south crosswalk areas on 9th Street — not including the center of the intersection, itself. There was no mention of crosswalks on Louisa.

Design ideas are encouraged to be based on a mosaic style using specific colors: green (#9EA974), red (#B12025), light gray (#97857E), dark gray (#6B554D), white (#FFFFFF) and dark blue (#162536).

Abstract designs and individual creativity are encouraged.

“If the mural has a subject matter, such as a reference to something Shawnee is known for, the subject should be represented abstractly,” the RFP reads.

Crosswalks are demarcated by white parallel lines called stop bars and must be included in the artist's design.

“The design must be rendered within those white stop bars; The amount of space between the stop bars is six feet across,” the RFP states. “The area between the stop bars is the artist's canvas.”

The application deadline is 5 p.m. April 20.

Designs will be narrowed to the top three the following week and community voting will be open between May 3-7. The winner will be announced May 10, with a $1,000 award for the artist selected to realize his/her work, the RFP reads.

“The awarded artist will be highlighted and featured on social media platforms to be determined by the project partners,” the RFP states.

Installation of the artwork can get started immediately afterward and potentially be completed by the end of May.

Blue Zones Project Community Program Manager John Bobb-Semple said South Central Industries is the ideal partner to pilot this project in the City of Shawnee.

SCI was founded in Shawnee in 1981 to provide vocational training and employment opportunities to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Over the years, SCI has significantly expanded its campus.

A major source of the nonprofit’s funding is through the sale of items like PPE, janitorial/sanitation, food service, office and furniture to state agencies, Oklahoma businesses and individuals.

The southwest corner of 9th Street and Louisa. Home of South Central Industries.

For more information, visit southcentralindustriesinc.com.

Watch for updates.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.