Ducks make community quack over art

Baylee Bates

Locally designed, produced, and placed; these fiberglass duck sculptures are the catalyst for art and human interaction in Norman, Okla.

In 2010, the Norman Arts Council, Norman Public Arts Board (PAB), and the Firehouse Art Center (FAC) all worked together to develop a project that would strengthen art awareness, stimulate social interaction and enhance Norman parks. The organizations came up with the idea of the Samo Ducky Project.

The duck icon was selected to represent the project because of their friendly and neutral appearance they have to children. Its design, the ducky form also allows children to better interact with the sculptures by sitting and climbing on the duck’s back. When the children think of the park, they think of fun, when they think of the ducks, they also think of fun. With the ducks being dressed in art, it makes the children think that art is fun.

The children are “getting to interact with art in a way that is accessible and readily understandable for them,” said Emily Smart, graphic designer and development assistant of the FAC. Smart also designed one of the ducks, “Drake Ducky.”

The ducks are designed, made, and placed locally; that is just another aspect that makes the Samo Ducky Project so unique project. New request for design proposals are available at the beginning of each year, around February, and the selection and completion of the ducks takes place during the spring. Three designs are selected each year. The PDF proposal forms are available at the appropriate times at and The only requirement to be a duck designer is that you must be a Norman resident.

As of right now, there are only 24 ducks but the goal of the PAB is to have 32 ducks total, with at least one in each park in Norman, Okla.