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What is Public Art is SmART?

Norman Arts Council’s Public Art is SmART (PAIS) program uses Norman’s  public art as the catalyst for dynamic educational resources  created to encourage educators of every grade level and subject area to enhance their teaching and students’ educational experiences using various, wonderful pieces of accessible works of art.

Public Art – What is it?

Public art enhances Norman’s landscape.

What are the benefits? Public art visually benefits everyone and can positively affect tourism, economic development, and our quality of life. Since it is free to enjoy and is easily accessible to all, it can be a lively springboard for dialogue and education.

Norman’s public art: Our collection of public art is in all parts of Norman and includes a variety of mediums, subjects, and styles.  Click here to connect with Museums Without Walls for information about all our works of public art including an interactive map.

Classroom Resources


Prezi is a dynamic way to present information. Our resources are primarily based on a Prezi format. You can either teach directly from them or peruse them for lessons or inspiration. Follow the path or click to zoom into parts that interest you.


We also offer PDF versions of each presentation here:

Horses In Motion PDF
Splash PDF

Outline of our Prezis

Our presentations are all structured in the same way:

  • Introduction – Art details, including location, artist information, general description, photographs

  • Lesson Ideas (2 ideas per subject) – Art, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Science, Misc.

  • Related books

  • Oklahoma Standards

Original Content

We create unique lessons based on the subject, location, appearance, medium, and symbolism of each piece of public art.

Interactive Resources

In our lessons, we also connect you to educational interactive resources. These are perfect for iPads, Smartboard activities or use in media centers or computer labs.

Related Books

Each resource contains a list of picture and chapter books that are appropriate for a variety of grades and reading levels.


How to Use our Resources

Our resources can be used in a variety of ways. There is no limit to how you approach the artwork or the lessons and activities we offer either in your classroom or in partnership with another teacher in your school. You could:

Start with a topic or subject

For example, geometry. The Geometry of Quilts is a lesson from the Horses in Motion resource that relates to piecing together triangles to create a quilt pattern.

Or you could:

Start with the art

Begin with Horses in Motion and teach about the bridge, the artist, and the symbolism of the enhancements.


List of Projects with Resource

Horses In Motion.jpg

Horses in Motion
by Steven Weitzman
at I-35 and Rock Creek Road, Cleveland County, Oklahoma

The expansive length of Rock Creek Road Bridge, 431 feet, affords a unique opportunity to show representations of the City of Norman’s industries in breeding quarter horses and crafting saddles highlighted by Native American design influences.

This bridge was the first of an eight bridge master plan developed specifically for the I-35 Corridor in Norman, Oklahoma with each one inspired by either the history, architectural, flora or fauna, or the industry of this region.

Photo by Leonardo Manzo
Copyright 2018 Creative Design Resolutions, Inc.

James Johnson Prairie Wind Square.jpg

Prairie Wind 
by JAmes Johnson
at Norman Public Library East Branch | Norman, Oklahoma


Splash Shevaun Williams Square.jpg

by mark aeling
at Westwood Family Aquatic Center
2400 Westport Drive, Norman

The first public art piece made possible by the Norman Forward 1% for Art Program — Splash by Mark Aeling — was installed in late 2017. It welcomes visitors to the Westwood Family Aquatic Center, the renovated swim complex and waterpark adjacent to public golf and tennis facilities, inspiring Aeling’s playful, colorful design of a tennis ball splashing into the water.

Curriculum developed around Splash involves the changing states of liquid, animation, energy transference, figurative language, calculating your water footprint and much more!

Photo by Shevaun Williams

Rick Sinnett Mural Square.jpg

Norman Red-Tail Hawk Mural
by Rick Sinnett


Topics and Activities Covered

(HIM) = Horses In Motion
(SP) = Splash


Calculating Your Water Footprint (SP)

A Day in the Life of a Drop (SP)

The Geometry of Quilts (HIM)
Material Request

A Handy Measure (HIM)
Material Request

How Do You Use Water? (SP)

How To Save Water (SP)

Measuring Horses (HIM)

Quilt Activity Using Triangles (HIM)
Material Request

Quilt Block Symmetries (HIM)

Space and Shape in Quilts (HIM)

Tennis Grand Slam Tournament Math (SP)

Virtual Water Use (SP)

Virtual Water Use Calculator of Food (SP)

Water Use Product Gallery (SP)

Where is Water? (video) (SP)

Your Water Footprint (SP)



Bridge Basics (HIM)

Bridge Building (Lesson Plan) (HIM)

Cook with all 3 Phases of Water (SP)

Crash Course: Part(icles) of Your World (SP)

Design Lab (HIM)

Energy Transference (SP)
Material Request

Equine Science for Kids (HIM)

Experiments with Water (SP)
Material Request

Galileo’s Cannon (video) (SP)

PBS Building Big (HIM)

Pigment Properties of Plants (HIM)
Material Request

Solid, Liquid, Gas (SP)

Teach Engineering (HIM)

Want to Understand Momentum (video) (SP)

Westpoint Bridge Designer (HIM)


Social Studies

Create Contour Maps (SP)
Material Request

Contour Maps (SP)

Edward S. Curtis’ The Norman American Indian (HIM)

Five Family Stories from the Trail of Tears (HIM)

Make a Knuckle Contour Map (SP)
Material Request

Primary Sources: 
A Soldier’s Account of the Cherokee Trail of Tears (HIM)

Red River Bridge War 1931 Oklahoma v. Texas (video) (SP)

The Trail of Tears (HIM)

Understanding Contour Lines (video) (SP)


Related Books

Check Out Books from NAC (HIM)
Material Request

Check Out Books from NAC (SP)
Material Request


Fuzz Family Frenzy Offline Coding Activity (SP)


About Eadweard Muybridge (SP)

Explore Art:
Charles Russell (HIM)

Flip Books (SP)
Material Request

Learn About Stop Motion Animation (SP)

Saltwater Painting (SP)
Material Request

Splash Art Cards (SP)

Weave a Paper Basket (HIM)
Material Request


Lesson Plan for Bridge Building (HIM)
Material Request

Design Lab:
Bridge Break Competition (HIM)

Material Request

Design Lab:
Bridge Break Activity (HIM)

Material Request

Teach Engineering:
Tensile & Compressive Forces Activity (HIM)

Material Request

Teach Engineering:
Straw Bridges Activity (HIM)

Material Request

Teach Engineering:
Load It Up! (HIM)

Material Request

Teach Engineering:
Shallow & Deep Foundations Activity (HIM)

Teach Engineering:
Break the Mold Activity (HIM)

Material Request

Teach Engineering: 
Cost Comparison Activity (HIM)

Material Request


Language Arts

Come On, Rain! Complete Lesson Plan (SP)

Come On, Rain! Online Version (SP)

The Great Fuzz Frenzy Figurative Language (SP)

Horse Idioms (HIM)

How Do Quilts Tell Stories? (HIM)
Material Request

How Strong is a Horse? (HIM)
Material Request

Out of the Dust Class Reading Guide:
Lesson Plans focused on Theme, Vocabulary (SP)

Out of the Dust Discussion Guide:
Focused on Plot, Character (SP)

Out of the Dust Novelinks:
Extensive Resources (SP)
Material Request

Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening & More:
Lesson Ideas for Come On, Rain! (SP)

Symbolism of the Bridge (HIM)

Why Do Horses Wear Shoes? (HIM)
Material Request


Oklahoma Standards

Our resources correlate standards in Visual Arts, Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Many standards only change in the depth and breadth as grade levels progress. Generally, standard numbers are given where the base standard applies, although wording might be slightly different amongst grade levels.

Public Art is smART - How It Works


We want to provide you with the materials your students need for doing the activities included in our resources!   You can order them from us and we will deliver them to you.

Following each activity you will find a form to request materials for that project.  This form includes the activity name, a list of the supplies so you can indicate which of those you need, number of students, to whom and where they should be delivered, by what date, and contact information for any questions.

Complete the form, send it to Cher at the Norman Arts Council, and when she receives your request, she will send confirmation to you. We must have at least two weeks’ notice before the materials are needed. Please allow for holidays when planning for delivery of materials.



You will receive a color 22 x 28” poster of the subject work of public art when you order materials for projects in our resources.



Each of our resources includes a Related Books section. We have sets of each title at the Norman Arts Council that are available for you to borrow for a 1 month period of time. Call Cher at the NAC (405.360.1162) to check availability of the books and schedule when you would like to check them out. Availability is limited, so please plan accordingly.

When we deliver your book order, we ask that you are prepared to schedule an appointment in 1 month for us to pick-up the books.



We need your input! It is vital for the effectiveness of Public Art is SmART that we can properly assess its impact on teachers and students. In order to make certain that it is always beneficial for you and to enable us to qualify and quantify our results; we ask that you complete the program survey that you will find here.

In that survey, you will find a place for you to tell us about any positive, meaningful stories related to the impact of our program on you, your students, or perhaps a member of a student’s family. Please take the time to relate those stories to us.

 We want to be able to continue to use Norman’s public art to help you and your students in the best possible manner. 


Involving Artists in Residency 

If you would like to complement your lessons by having a creative, teaching artist work with your students, the Norman Arts Council can help you find the right artist and Sudden Opportunity Support grants are available to provide help with the funding.

Additionally, the following organizations have artists in residence programs and possible funding opportunities:



If you have any technical difficulties or problems with our resources, we want to solve them as quickly as possible. Contact Norman Arts Council by phone (405.360.1162), email at or fill out the form below.



Please let us know if you have any additional comments at or by filling out the form below.

Name *