Facility: The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center

Location: Oklahoma City

Sculptor: Matthew Placzek, Placzek Studios, Omaha, Neb.

The compelling and multifaceted monumental sculpture called "Spirit" at the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City is constructed on a 150-foot-long island. The piece spans the length of the island, leading to the hospital’s entrance. The sculpture’s focal point is 12 kites, welded and formed from stainless steel and ranging in size from 4 to 7 feet in height. Each kite is custom-fitted with brightly colored acrylic panels and illuminated with 5,000 LEDs. The project also features three larger-than-life bronze sculptures of playful children running with the kites. The children represent the hope and innocence of childhood.

“It is my hope that each child visiting the hospital can relate to the exuberance and joy of the sculpture, bringing a little bit of comfort to their stay,” says Matthew Placzek, the installation’s sculptor.

At night, "Spirit" takes on a magical quality with the illusion that the overlapping kites are floating in the air. This effect is achieved by not lighting the kites’ tails — so nighttime visitors to the hospital see illuminated, colorful, patterned pieces that are constantly changing and giving the impression of movement.

"Spirit" was the final component of a major interior and exterior renovation project at the facility. Hospital officials and community leaders spearheading the project were looking for art that symbolized hope, inspiration, energy and life.