MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) says the Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard will soon be honored with a bronze statue in that eastern Oklahoma town.
The statue will be located at the Muskogee Civic Center, the venue where Merle recorded the famous song and album ‘Okie from Muskogee’ at a live concert.
Sue Harris, former Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO stated, “It is undeniable that to this day, over fifty years after the release of the record, people around the world still know Muskogee because of that song.”
OMHOF says the Merle Haggard statue will be a photo-op stop for visitors who travel to Muskogee, strategically placed with a view of “Old Glory” at the Federal Courthouse.
OMHOF Executive Director Tony Corbell recounts, “Recently we had a couple walk in the Hall of Fame for a visit that came by while traveling specifically because of Merle Haggard and the Okie from Muskogee song. The husband said this was one of the main stops they wanted to make as they traversed the country sightseeing before heading west and finally going back home to Sydney, Australia. They really enjoyed their day with us seeing Merle Haggard memorabilia inside our museum.”
OMHOF and the Merle Haggard Statue Committee are seeking a professional artist or team of artists, which includes artisans from multiple disciplines, to receive a commission to create a bronze artwork for a location at the north lawn of the Muskogee Civic Center.
“Artists are encouraged to propose their unique perspective on what would best honor Merle Haggard, compliment the site, while being mindful of context, safety, and durability,” said OMHOF. “The artwork should embody the cultural and musical history of the community while reflecting the musical mélange that has become synonymous with the city of Muskogee.”
The final artist selection, rendering and casting will be approved by the committee. The funds for the project are secured and the committee is ready to proceed, according to OMHOF.
Full details on the Request for Proposal can be found on the OMHOF website or by calling Tony Corbell, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director at 918-685-1701.