Keeton said the city has had an interest in featuring more art in public places for years, but prior efforts got sidelined as the pandemic surged. Heidi Schiller, the executive director for Oxford Community Arts Center, said the project began with the center’s previous director.
“It kind of got put on hold because COVID, as everything else did,” Schiller said. “When I was hired in January of ’21, we revisited this idea that the city wanted to display public art.”
Schiller said the OCAC partnered with the city to lend its expertise; the OCAC knew how to recruit artists and then insure their chosen works, critical aspects of the Public Art Exhibition project.
The OCAC and the city will each host their own receptions today. From 6 to 8 p.m., the City Municipal Building will be open to view the inaugural displays. Across the street, the OCAC will unveil three of its own new exhibitions in an installment of their “2nd Friday” art celebration, before a 7:30 p.m. musical Christmas performance from the Chris Comer Trio.