By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford artist Earl Dismuke, with Dismuke Design and Creative, will be creating a new piece of art that will be located in the roundabout at South Lamar and Belk boulevards.
In October, the city advertised a Request for Proposal for the public art, and artists were given few specific requirements but were encouraged to submit samples of two- or three-dimensional artworks.
The city received four RFPs that ranged from $20,000 to $336,000.
The city had budgeted $30,000 toward the project this summer in the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.
Dismuke’s proposal was for $20,550 and he submitted examples of two abstract sculptures that are about 16-feet tall and made of welded steel. The proposed artwork is part of a series titled, “Victory Dance.”
“Victory Dance is a celebration of victories, both big and small,” Dismuke wrote in his proposal. “Each work in this series is made of rings. Rings are symbolic of relationships. Our relationships play a huge role in our success. The rings are welded together to symbolize connection. We are all connected. The circles depict movement and appear to be dancing to celebrate. We must encourage and support each other. After all, ‘We are stronger together.’
One of the sculptures is shown in red and the other in yellow and teal; however, Dismuke said the colors can be changed but should remain bright and cheery.
“This series is aesthetically pleasing and invokes feelings of joy in the viewer,” he wrote. “There is a sense of celebration in this work that people are drawn to.”
The Board of Aldermen agreed and voted unanimously to allow city staff to enter into a contract with Dismuke, not to exceed $30,000 to create the sculpture.
Other artists and businesses to submit proposals included Epic Sales and Contracting Corp., Kodiak Studios and Pryor Morrow Architects, Engineers and Interior Design.
Dismuke co-founded the Yokna Sculpture Trail and curated the outdoor portion of the University of Mississippi Museum of Art’s first major indoor/outdoor exhibition. His work has been included in several international and national exhibitions, including the Puydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition in New Orleans, The Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs, Scope Basel in Basel, Switzerland and more.