Gathering Place’s Cabinet of Wonder captivates and enthralls
Gathering Place, as anyone who has visited it can attest, is far more than just a park, and a new art installation in the Boathouse raises the bar even higher.
Cabinet of Wonder is the creation of nationally acclaimed, New York based artist Mark Dion, who spent a year and a half assembling the enthralling collection that opened to the public on November 3.
Just as Gathering Place shatters stereotypes when it comes to public parks, Cabinet of Wonder is by no means a typical art exhibition. What Dion has created is an experience that is both immersive and captivating, eliciting lots of “oohs” and “ahs” from visitors of all ages as they step into the specially built space and get a first look at the collection of unique objects, historical artifacts, and curios from around the world.
But things don’t have to come from far away to fascinate.
“At lease 65% come from Tulsa and the surrounding area,” Dion told La Semana, describing northeast Oklahoma as “an incredibly rich area for antiques and other strange things.”
Among locally themed objects are photos showing the construction of the iconic Golden Driller as well as a collection of Indian Territory maps from before statehood.
It would be impossible to list here all of the objects in the collection, and to do so would be a disservice to potential visitors, who deserve the opportunity to be amazed and inspired by what they may discover inside Cabinet of wonder.
The experience is truly one for the entire family and promises to delight patrons of all ages. And while Dion says there are some allegorical themes present in the collection, he leaves it to the individual to form their own opinions about what the experience means to them.
“I think people should trust their own responses and instincts about what they think it means and what their engagement is with different things,” Dion said. “I always think that the best art is like the spark that ignites the fuse…That’s what wonder is, wonder leads to curiosity and curiosity leads to knowledge.”
Cabinet of Wonder is free to experience and is open to the public at the ONEOK Boathouse daily during standard park hours, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (La Semana)