Oklahoma Labyrinths

Edmond


Photo courtesy of the Dan Smith, UCO Photographer

The University of Central Oklahoma Labyrinth was created by Marty Kermeen of Labyrinths in Stone in May 2013 and dedicated September 13, 2013.  The 11-circuit medieval design is a replica of the labyrinth in the cathedral in Chartres, France which was built circa 1200 AD.  This beautiful work of art is now being enjoyed by the students, staff and faculty at the university as well as those in the surrounding community. (Photo courtesy of the Dan Smith, UCO Photographer)

Ponca City


Labyrinth at Ponca City

Standing Bear Park Labyrinth

Community Labyrinth, Standing Bear Park – Design collaboration with Lea Goode-Harris, Ph.D., Santa Rose© Labyrinth

Ponca City Dancer

Located in Standing Bear Park, this 1,100-square-foot labyrinth features the Santa Rosa© pattern created by Lea Goode-Harris, Ph.D. This simple yet elegant 7-circuit design is noted for its Pausing Stone at the entrance and a Heart Space stone located near the fourth path.

Sculpted in red/brown, buff, and charcoal concrete paving stones, the Standing Bear Park Labyrinth harmonizes beautifully with its environment. The path is 18 3/4 inches wide, extending a total of 665 feet in length. The path boundaries are outlined with buff pavers for outstanding contrast. A 40-foot containment ring and a 3-inch crown ensure proper drainage. The perfectly smooth surface allows for easy snow removal and handicapped accessibility.

The owners of this labyrinth requested a center design of four interlocking circles to represent the interconnectedness of the varied community elements that came together to make this project happen. As is so often the case in matters of art and spirit, the design has come to mean something even more to those who have seen it.What began as a symbol of community evolved into one representing the holiness of life.

The beauty of this design is that it incorporates three important religious symbols. The sacred hoop is central to the religious beliefs of many Native American cultures. “ Behold the circle of the nation’s hoop, for it is holy, being endless, and thus all powers shall be one power in the people without end,” states Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux Holy Man, in his biography, Black Elk Speaks. The interlocking hoops form vesica pisces, pointed oval shapes used in medieval Christian art as an aureole to surround sacred figures; the vesica pisces point to the cardinal directions, honoring the Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel. The intersection of the vesica pisces form the Flower of Life, or perhaps the blossom of the sacred tree that blooms in the center of the sacred hoop – the living center of all that is. Bringing these symbols together in this intricate design creates a multicultural space in which the whole community can feel at home.

The Sacred Hoops center symbolizes the emergence of a new sacred hoop that brings Native and non-Native American cultures together to form a stronger community that honors diversity. Outreach programs held during the fundraising campaign focused on educating community members about their rich cultural traditions and the use of the labyrinth as a “good red road.”

Tonkawa


Heart in the Park Labyrinth

Heart in the Park Labyrinth, Designed by Marty Kermeen – Design collaboration with Jeff Saward (Photo by Ken Crowder)

Up Close Heart in Park Tonkwa

By Ken Crowder

The town of Tonkawa, OK recently saw the exciting completion of Phase 1 of a project called Heart In the Park, or HIP, for short. Tonkawa, is known as the Wheatheart of Oklahoma, as wheat is a major crop in this part of the state. In February, 2006, Audrey and Ken Crowder concieved the idea of a heart shaped labyrinth which would be surrounded by an historical timeline of the city of Tonkawa.

After researching the construction of labyrinths, a committee of 15 dedicated and hard working volunteers, decided to hire Marty Kermeen to develop and design the labyrinth. Marty is one of the best, if not the best, labyrinth builders in the world. He and his wife Debi own and operate the company Labyrinths In Stone, a division of their parent company, Artistic Pavers.

We found out that it is one thing to talk about a heart shaped labyrinth, and another thing to design one that is actually capable of being built, and retaining the inherent heart shape. Marty made many drawings and they were narrowed down to one. With the assistance of labyrinth historian and author, Jeff Saward, of the UK, Marty presented us with a beautiful design that could actually be built.

Marty and his assistant Jorge Puga, arrived in Tonkawa, and 18 days later, the labyrinth was completed. Marty and Jorge are truly amazing to watch. They don’t know the meaning of a day off once they start the construction of a project. Seeing them produce this beautiful labyrinth with such care and meticulous perfection, everyone who comes to see the project, have come away with respect and admiration for what Marty and Jorge have done.