Oklahoma Contemporary Opens

11. marzo 2020
Photo: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

On March 12 the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center opens its new building in Oklahoma City. Designed by Rand Elliott Architects, the museum is covered in thousands of custom-fabricated extruded aluminum fins.

Oklahoma Contemporary was founded in 1989 as a community-oriented arts center with a home at the Oklahoma State Fair Park, about five miles west of Downtown Oklahoma City. The new, 53,916-square-foot building is just one mile north of the city's Central Business District, giving the institution easier access for locals and visitors alike. Aiding this is the fact admission to the exhibitions, educational programs, and performances, is free.

Photo: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

According to a press release from Oklahoma Contemporary, the new building and its inaugural exhibition, Bright Golden Haze, were inspired by "the ever-changing light across Oklahoma's sky." Rand Elliott Architects designed the building to, in Elliott's words, "inspire visitors to see art responding to the environment around them." The building overlooks Campbell Art Park, which Oklahoma Contemporary has programmed since 2014. It is wrapped in aluminum fins that dramatically reflect the sun, as the photos above attest. The metal skin appears to accentuate the environmental conditions whatever they are, such as the cold and grayness in the months leading up to its opening.

Photo: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

Bright Golden Haze takes its title from the first line in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma! The exhibition "presents a diverse range of artworks from nationally and internationally acclaimed contemporary artists who use light to create a specific sense of place, utilizing the new building’s expanded gallery space to exhibit significant, large- scale works." Artists include Teresita Fernandez, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Jen Lewin and Leo Villareal.

Photo: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

Oklahoma Contemporary opens on March 12 with a ticketed event. Its formal ribbon cutting will be on March 13 at 10am, the start of its grand opening weekend.

Photo: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

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