The restoration of the Cloth World as a piece of public art received a big boost on Wednesday evening as noted Odessans and philanthropists Toby and Sondra Eoff announced their intention to donate $100,000 to the project during the Marriott Hotel room reveal in Downtown Odessa.
‘We are so fortunate to have community members like Toby and Sondra,’ said Odessa Arts Executive Director Randy Ham,’This project has been a focal point for the Public Art Committee for over a year. With this added donation, we are now halfway toward our goal of $300,000 for structural repairs and enhancements and ongoing maintenance for the project.’
In 2017, Philadelphia artist Ray King was selected from over 90 applicants for the $100,000 art installation that is being referred to as a Gateway to Downtown Odessa. Funds for the art piece were allocated to Odessa Arts through Hotel Occupancy Tax by the Odessa City Council as part of the Public Art Master Plan for Odessa.
‘We are so grateful for the City’s investment in this project, but we knew once we got a design, the sign would need some TLC and enhancements in order to support the spire for the 25 year lifetime. That’s when we had the structure analyzed and sent the project out for bid,’ explains Ham, ‘The response from many of our local contractors was encouraging. So many people in the community are invested in seeing this historic landmark preserved and reinvented.’
‘The hotel and conference center are just the catalyst for a reinvestment in Downtown,’ explains Toby Eoff, ‘It’s also about the Quality of Life for our community. Sondra and I understand that a thriving cultural community is a key component to attracting businesses and families to Odessa.’
Work on the restoration is scheduled to begin in early 2019 with completion of the project targeted for Summer 2019. Community members are encouraged to visit odessaarts.wpstagecoach.com to donate to the project.