OKLAHOMA CITY — Work on a new large-scale mural by Oklahoma City native Manuel Cruz III is underway inside the Oklahoma History Center (OHC). It will be part of the new aviation exhibit at the OHC called “Taking Flight: Oklahomans Explore the Skies.” Work on the new area has been in the planning stages for several years.

The addition is designed to provide a visual bookend to the “Launch to Landing: Oklahomans and Space” exhibit on the first floor. It is devoted to the many Oklahomans who were, and are, pioneers of flight. 

The large-scale mural will be on the wall leading into the aviation exhibit. It will showcase an early 1900s-period hot air balloon. At 14 feet wide and 28 feet tall, the concept of the mural is to represent the dawn of the exploration of the skies at the turn of the 20th century.
“Since living in California for 32 years, getting to do a public mural in my hometown of Oklahoma City has always been a dream of mine to leave a legacy of my art that will permanently reside here for all to enjoy,” said Cruz.

The hot air balloon design will have a ground-floor walk-in component that allows visitors to take selfies that give the illusion of riding in the balloon.

Visitors to the OHC are invited to watch Cruz create the stunning work of art.

The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Please call 405-522-0765 or visit www.okhistory.org/historycenter/visitor for admission costs and group rates.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.