Enid City Council gives artist green light to finish controversial downtown project

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ENID, Okla. - After a rollercoaster ride for two years, an Enid artist will get to finish her steel installation project in downtown Enid.

Romy Owens's supporters flooded a city council meeting on Tuesday night.

One person after another called for the city council to approve an extension for Owens’s public art project called “Under Her Wing was the Universe.”

Initially, there was pushback and Romy had to snuff out rumors that it’s a pagan monument. The latest hurdle — some city leaders are unhappy with how long it’s taking to complete. The project was approved in 2017.

“They didn’t break ground until 2019 and so in all of that time frame we’ve just been in a holding pattern,” Commissioner Jonathan Waddell said.

 “We’ve made so much progress, and to stop right now just really

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seems wasteful,” Owens said.

Jonathan Waddell and other council members grilled Owens Tuesday for an accounting of her funding. She raised more than $250,000 for the project herself. The city chipped in 10% for the project with money that’s budgeted for public art.

“It is true that it was crowdfunded in order to be able to fund it, but it went from a project that was supposed to be $60,000. Now we’re creeping to almost $300,000.”

 Supporters of the project from all over the state showed up for their two minutes at the podium. Waddell was the only no vote, giving this artist the green light to bring her dream to fruition. 

“It says that I have an amazing community that was there and rallied for it. And it’s not me, it’s the number of advocates for art in Oklahoma statewide.”

Owens told News 4 she’ll be back on site working Wednesday morning.

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