OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Will Rogers World Airport is always busiest early in the morning.
Flights take off and land.
Some first-time visitors get their opening look at the city through the airport terminal, which is where artist Matt Goad walks in.
“I guess this is where we start,” he says walking over a big dinosaur skull.
“As we go forward we have teepees.”
A couple of years back he put his name in the hat for a huge art installation to grace the new terminal expansion.
His canvas, 44,000 square feet of floor space.
“We have 1889 written out in Roman numerals,” he points. “And here we have a giant bow and a hand, representing mankind’s inspiration from nature to fly.”
He sketched it all out a long time ago, but this is one of the first chances he had to actually walk his version of Oklahoma history, red dirt to sky, beginning to present, and on to the future.
All of it is poured into the terrazzo floor of the new lobby and gate areas.
He smiles and says, “My joke is that everyone coming to Oklahoma City is going to walk all over Matt Goad.”
Matt calls his project ‘OK Connected’.
His history in pictures graces areas by the front door.
Approaching the new gates, Oklahoma’s pop culture mosaic surrounds a smiling Will Rogers.
Careful viewers will notice a ribbon of Route 66, football helmets, and musical instruments.
His own impression?
“It’s beyond my expectations.”
Other mosaics tell the stories of state industries.
There’s a lot to see in all this space, but then again, Matt Goad had a lot to teach about his home and all the wonderful things that connect us together.
He insists, “It’s the first impression, this airport. So it’s important that it tells that story.”