OU Professors Create Art Installation To Honor Oklahomans Who Have Died From COVID-19
Two University of Oklahoma professors received a grant to create an art installation in honor of the over 8,000 Oklahomans who have died from COVID-19.
Rose rocks will be made with red clay to represent each Oklahoman who has died from COVID-19 and will be assembled to form a chart depicting the change in mortality rates in the state throughout the pandemic.
Aparna Nair, an assistant professor of the history of science at OU, said the idea for the project came from the desire to use art to make sense of this historic moment and to process trauma related to the pandemic.
“This is a really important demographic, social and cultural moment, and I think it deserves to be commemorated, not brushed aside in our desire for normalcy as we all get vaccinated,” Nair said. “People are still dying so we should remember that.”
Jamie Bates Slone, an assistant professor of ceramics at OU, said it has been a cathartic experience for students, faculty and staff to make the rose rocks out of clay.
“I get the opportunity to read some of the messages students are writing on these rocks,” Bates Slone said. “It's kind of heartbreaking. Some are empowering, some are angry. And I think that's the healing part of this whole project.”
The art installation is expected to be completed by spring 2022 with the goal of being on permanent display at the university.
For more information on how to get involved in the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
KGOU relies on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners to further its mission of public service with arts and culture reporting for Oklahoma and beyond. To contribute to our efforts, donate online, or contact our Membership department.