OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There aren’t any other park benches like this anywhere.
That’s why Don Narcomey, the artist who spent three months making it, wanted to be so careful in bringing it to this spot on Lake Stanley Draper.
“I wanted to be able to lift it without putting any stresses on it,” he says.
He decided on an engine hoist to get this 700–800-pound chunk of wood off its trailer and into place.
The wood came from another Oklahoma City park, a huge ash tree, diseased and dying.
Narcomey insists, “It was always going to be a bench, but there were some surprises along the way.”
Narcomey saw new life here as the second part of an art installation, a companion piece for ‘Bee-52’, a metal sculpture in permanent flight over the lake.
“It kind of draws you into the scene where you can spend a little time,” says Don of his bench.
When the MAPS3 sales tax went into effect and the trail around the lake was constructed, 1% of those costs went to public art.
Those art projects now grace a number of parks across the city.
There are three of them along the Stanley Draper trail system.
The largest is installed at the new city convention center in Scissortail Park downtown.
In 2019 we shot a story on a series of large, metal boulders called ‘Erratics’ on the River Trail system.
Don himself, has another sculpture at this lake called ‘Covergence’.
The title for his new bench took a little thought.
“I call it ‘360 Respite,” he says.
No one knows exactly how long the ash tree provided shade to park visitors, or how many kids climbed it.
Don liked the idea of bringing it back to life so here it sits, welcoming anyone else to do the same.
“It’s found a good home.”
The bench was put in place Friday, May 14.
It’s located a short walk south on the Stanley Draper trail system from the boat marina.