Mustang artist creates design for butterfly license plate contest

The Nature Conservancy is creating a new specialty license plate featuring the Monarch butterfly. Rick Sinnett, a Mustang artist, submitted one of the final designs. (Provided image)

Voting on themed license plates ends Sept. 8

By Traci Chapman
Staff Writer

For Mustang artist Rick Sinnett, creation has been a voyage of self-discovery, a way to share a vision through the creation of murals and other medium. With his newest project, it’s a way to protect something, at the same time furthering the mission of a cause he cares deeply about – and he’s asking for help to do just that.

It’s called the Statewide Monarch Conservation Plan, an effort that involves a collaboration of organizations, agencies, individuals and others – among them the Nature Conservancy – to save endangered Monarch butterflies and other pollinators across Oklahoma. That effort received a major boost May 23, when Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 170 into law, creating a monarch-themed specialty license plate to both honor and raise awareness about the Monarch’s plight.
That’s where Sinnett came in.

“It was my chance to create something beautiful and meaningful, and it was a great opportunity to spread the word about the work of the Nature Conservancy, while helping to save Monarchs,” Sinnett said.

The Mustang artist’s design features the Monarch, centered in the Oklahoma sun beams and clouds and hovering above Oklahoma’s flowers of milkweed – a favorite pollinator plant.

“My design features the easily identifiable native symbology used in my murals across the state in order to create a sense of familiarity intended to deepen connection to our Oklahoma roots,” Sinnett said. “Ever since I was a little kid I was inspired by nature and an artistic way and still am to this day, so it seems as if it’s a perfect fit for me to be doing something with the Nature Conservancy.”

Sinnett’s is one of six designs now up for consideration as the themed plate finalist. The public has been asked to cast their votes for those designs between Aug. 26 and Sept. 8; the winner will be announced Sept. 12 and submitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

“If the tax commission approves the design, the plate will be available for presale to the public for 180 days,” Sinnett said. “If they are able to sell 100 plates in that time the plate goes into production – and part of the plates’ proceeds benefit Nature Conservancy and its work to help Monarchs and other pollinators in Oklahoma.”

Anyone can cast a vote for a design – one vote per electronic device and using a valid email address. Participants also have the opportunity to select or suggest a plate tagline.

The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B9VTBMD.

Sinnett is the only individual artist whose creation is up for consideration in the Monarch project. Other designs come from companies located in Tulsa, Norman and Oklahoma City.

“It was an incredible opportunity to be asked to take part in this effort and get the chance to share not my design and vision for a cause that’s so important,” Sinnett said. “I hope everyone will take the time to vote and get this effort off the ground in a big way.”

Want to learn more about the drive to save Monarchs and other pollinators? Follow the Mustang Times’ series on it in upcoming issues.

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