Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities moves forward to redesign the Cloth World sign

Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities moves forward to redesign the Cloth World sign

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Right on the corner of Maple and 10th Street, stands an 80 ft tall sign.

Placed for what used to be The Rockhill Springs Shopping Center in the late 50's, it became a sign for a fabric store called Cloth World. After that area of town redeveloped, now it sits there waiting for a new look.

"It's very derelict, it's rusted," said Randy Ham, Executive Director of the Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities.

The council has worked almost two years on the Public Art Master Plan. They have worked on ideas to transform the large red structure. They're calling the project The Gateway to Downtown.

"We can use it as a beacon to bring people downtown where of course you know there's a massive redevelopment project going on," said Ham.

The council called for artists back in February to submit ideas. They had 72 applicants from all over the world, even as far as London. Now, they've narrowed it down to just three finalists this past week. Budgeted at $100,000, the council hopes that although every artist has their own style, they're still keeping the vintage feel.

"One of the things we told our finalists is we want to honor the mid-century design of this," said Ham. "We don't want something so new and contemporary that it takes away from the original architect's intent."

The three finalists have six weeks to show their proposal. They'll come visit in two months and by the end of the September, the council plans to announce the final artist who will put the new face on an old piece of Odessa.

"Something like this is going to change the way we talk about art in the community," said Ham. "We are a place of cultural significance. We just need to be reminded of that every once in a while."

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