Next year when more than 25,000 runners arrive for the annual OKC Memorial Marathon, they’ll embark on a new course. And as they cross the finish line, they’ll see a special display.
“It's kind of like a timeline through history,” said Arjan Jager, an artist and urban designer/planner with OKC. “Basically, the city has changed a lot in the last 20 years.”
Jager is tasked with creating Oklahoma City’s timeline from start to finish.
“The idea was to capture the development of the city, the route and the change of the route in one big drawing over six windows,” he said.
With the development of the streetcar system and a new downtown park the, OKC Memorial Marathon has changed its course to end at the corner of Hudson and Sheridan. The Marathon and Devon Energy commissioned Jager to create a mural to depict those changes.
“It's quite a challenge to figure out what goes where,” Jager said. “How to get it filled up but also not too much filled up. My style is kind of minimalistic.”
The mural will be encased in the Devon Tower glass cases that line Hudson along the new finish line. Two of the six panels are already on display.
“To add something to it, makes people walk by here, maybe they look at something maybe they stop figure out where they are or what they see,” he said.
Jager started out sketching his ideas on paper, then the drawings are brought to life.
“It's great to see a drawing that is actually on an 18 by 24 paper to be blown up in this size,” he said.
A lot of his inspiration came from cycling through the areas along the route.
“It's actually not exactly the route but that's the fun part, it doesn't have to be exactly, literally the route, it's an interpretation of the route,” Jager said.
Each week a new panel will be unveiled.
“I hope that people will just try to figure out where they are in the city, what new development might have happened in the meantime,” he said. “I hope people enjoy it.”
The entire mural is expected to be up by the end of September and will remain up throughout race weekend next year.