Correction: The story has been updated to report the correct entity providing the new installation to Science Museum Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The next time you go to Science Museum Oklahoma, you’ll notice a brand new installation intended to honor an Oklahoma icon and inspire new generations.
At 25 feet, “Finity” will tower high above many of the little ones that will head into Science Museum Oklahoma daily.
The hope is that the impact it leaves on those children will be just as big.
“Being at the beginning of their journey it’s good for them to experience something they haven’t seen before,” said artist Tom Shannon.
Shannon has poured his heart and soul into this project – now on permanent loan by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.
It now stands in the Founder’s Plaza in honor of John Kirkpatrick, a philanthropist who gave millions of dollars to Oklahoma charities.
“John was an advocate for good causes,” said historian Dr. Bob Blackburn. “If he believed in it, his heart was in it.”
One thing he believed in was the northeast side of Oklahoma City – where this installation and Science Museum Oklahoma now stand.
“When he decided to build this institution, many people in the chamber of commerce said you’ve got to build that at the fairgrounds,” Blackburn said. “He said no, there’s another part of town that needs help as well.”
The interactive sculpture provides an experience most art cannot.
“There’s a reason for people not to be able to touch artworks because the art wouldn’t survive but this is made to break that boundary in a responsible way,” said Shannon.
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“Finity” and its many shapes is intended to symbolize the intersection of math and physics in that interactive way – just like Science Museum Oklahoma.
“It’s important for kids to come to a museum where they can be hands-on,” said Christian Keesee, Kirkpatrick’s grandson. “They can run and scream and explore and learn and not even worry about their cell phones.”