The City of Oklahoma City has just created a new position in city government, which promises the brighten up City Hall.
For the first time ever, the City has hired an “Artist-in-Residence.”
Painter Erica Bonavida will start in March in an office on the first floor of City Hall. Bonavida has a fine arts degree from The University of Central Oklahoma, and paints scenes featuring fabrics.
“Fabric is an opportunity for storytelling,” says Bonavida, who will be paid a $750 stipend each month.
“I see it as an opportunity to interact with the public in a way that I wouldn't normally,” adds Bonavida, who will stay on until December and perhaps longer if the City is successfully awarded a grant.
Visitors to City Hall will be able to watch Bonavida paint. She may also participate in art outreach programs with schools and at city events.
In return, the City hopes to teach Bonavida how to get more work.
“To help artists be prepared, to do more public art to be more business savvy,” says Robbie Kienzle with the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs about the program’s goals.
OKC Mayor David Holt urged for the creation of the position after seeing it in other cities and just down the street.
The Skirvin Hotel has showcased an artist-in-residence since 2012.
“We are trying to create a creative sector,” says Kienzle.