State of the Art: Ok­la­homa

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Set in the state of the same name, Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein’s mu­si­cal Ok­la­homa! de­picts the vast tall­grass Prairie Plains, golden wheat fields and over­ar­ch­ing nat­u­ral beauty.

Equally as vi­brant is Ok­la­homa’s di­verse arts and cul­ture com­mu­nity. With more than 25 Na­tive lan­guages spo­ken, the Sooner State car­ries on the his­tory of Na­tive Amer­i­can tribes and the Old West while cel­e­brat­ing its fu­ture with a plethora of his­tory and art mu­se­ums, gal­leries and cul­tural fes­ti­vals—many of which can be found in the Tulsa Arts Dis­trict.

Tulsa’s river­front park, Gath­er­ing Place— which opened last sum­mer—is a hotspot for awe-in­spir­ing art in­stal­la­tions with its

Art in the Park se­ries. The park’s most re­cent ex­hi­bi­tions in­clude Cabi­net of Won­der cre­ated by in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist Mark Dion;

Ca­noe Art, fea­tur­ing ca­noes wrapped by art­work from a lo­cal artist, which guests can en­joy on Peggy’s Pond; and mu­rals by Tulsabased artists May Yang and Sarah Sullivan.

Since 2007, Tulsa Arts Dis­trict has hosted a monthly First Fri­day Art Crawl. Dur­ing the com­mu­nity build­ing event, all of the area’s gal­leries, stu­dios and mu­se­ums open their doors to the pub­lic for ex­tended hours, from 6 to 9 p.m. Many mu­se­ums also of­fer free or re­duced ad­mis­sion dur­ing the event.

Also of­fer­ing a monthly First Fri­day Gallery Walk is his­toric Paseo Arts Dis­trict, which was founded in 1929 and is home to more than 20 gal­leries and more than 80 artist stu­dios. Paseo’s big­gest event, the Paseo Arts Fes­ti­val, takes place an­nu­ally over Memo­rial Day week­end, draw­ing in thou­sands of art lovers for fea­tured art­work in a va­ri­ety of fields, shopping, mu­si­cal per­for­mances and a bounty of lo­cal culi­nary treats.

In June, the Na­tional Cow­boy & West­ern Heritage Mu­seum hosts its an­nual Prix de West in Ok­la­homa City, bring­ing in more than 300 works from emerg­ing and es­tab­lished West­ern artists. It is one of the most an­tic­i­pated gath­er­ings of West­ern artists for the en­tire year, as well as a great place to pur­chase and view the new­est works from the top artists.

From West­ern and Na­tive Amer­i­can art to con­tem­po­rary works, Ok­la­homa has some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Through­out this spe­cial sec­tion, read­ers will gain in­sight into some of the lead­ing artists, gal­leries, arts or­ga­ni­za­tions and fes­ti­vals across the state in­clud­ing Gil­crease Mu­seum, Woolaroc Mu­seum & Wildlife Pre­serve, Chero­kee Art Mar­ket, Bur­neta Venos­del, Paul Walsh and Carolyn Mock.

A sculp­ture of Buf­falo Bill on the grounds of the Na­tional Cow­boy & West­ern Heritage Mu­seum in Ok­la­homa City. Cour­tesy Ok­la­homa City Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bureau.

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