Most often when folks think of Odessa, TX, images of packed football stadiums, oil derricks and pump-jacks come to mind. While Odessa is famously known for Friday Night Lights and the oil and gas industry, Odessa is so much more. Not only is Odessa the service, workforce, supply and manufacturing center of the Permian Basin, it is also home to a growing number of public art projects. These wonderful installations enrich the lives of Odessans and all the folks that visit the city.
From larger than life murals to quintessential bronze sculptures, Odessa is bringing art to the people.
Here are Odessa Top 5 Public Art pieces.
1) Chris Kyle Memorial
The 2,800 square foot Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza is composed of granite and Texas limestone, and is located adjacent to the Veterans’ Clinic on the property of Medical Center Hospital on S.H. 191. This monument is centered around honoring Chris, however, upon careful inspection, you will see that it is actually 3 plazas, interlinked, with the sculpture of Chris in the central plaza. Noted western sculptor and artist, Vic Payne has been sculpting for over 35 years and is responsible for this monument honoring Chris Kyle.
2) "The Stragglers"
The installation located on the University of Texas of the Permian Basin campus near JBS Parkway and 42nd Street features a cowboy on a horse and five steers. The bronze sculpture by Terrell O'Brien and donated by the Odessa Council of the Arts and Humanities shows a cowboy on horseback rounding up five Longhorn steers. The statue is 70 feet long and about 13 feet tall is a tribute to the ranching way of life in West Texas.
3) Traffic Boxes in Downtown Odessa
OCA&H turned 12 of the city of Odessa’s grey traffic boxes into a beautiful crafted story throughout the city. 3 professional artists from across the country were selected to cover 4 boxes each; Amy Cheng from New York, Pamela Edwards out of Dallas and San Francisco Artist Rusty Lamer.
The Stonehenge replica is located on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. About 20 stone blocks, similar in size, shape, and appearance to the ancient Stonehenge in southwestern England, were unveiled in the summer of 2004. The replica matches the original Stonehenge horizontally, but it falls some 14% short in height from the English monument. The tallest stone on the original is 22 feet, while the highest in the Odessa version is 19 feet.
5) Jackrabbit Jamboree
In 2004, a large collaborative group of motivated civil servants set out to commission local artists to paint 37 beautiful and unique jackrabbits standing 6 feet tall that were then strategically placed around the city. Twelve years later, the Jackrabbit Jamboree still offers a cultural immersion into the lives of Odessans at the time and offers a unique attraction for people who are visiting.