New Facilities in Downtown Oklahoma City Will House Ambitious Contemporary Arts Programming
New building designed by Rand Elliott Architects will expand Oklahoma Contemporary's leading exhibition and educational programs
In January 2020, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center will re-launch in a stunning new building, designed by Rand Elliott Architects to reflect the unique quality of light and sky in the region. This home for exhibitions, education and performance will be free and open to the public and will anchor the organization's new, central location in downtown Oklahoma City. The new center will dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary's capacity for free, internationally relevant exhibitions and programming and increase art access and education for citizens of Oklahoma, students and visitors alike.
Both the new building and the inaugural exhibition were inspired by the ever-changing light across Oklahoma's sky. The inaugural exhibition is titled Bright Golden Haze, words from the first line in Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical Oklahoma!, in which a cowboy sings about the morning light in the dawn of Oklahoma's statehood. 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. Over the course of its first year, Oklahoma Contemporary plans to expand its programming to present nine exhibitions -- in the galleries, on its grounds and in adjacent Campbell Art Park -- along with a wide variety of public programs to welcome upwards of 100,000 visitors, serving its community in Oklahoma and beyond.
"As Oklahoma Contemporary grows over the next year -- expanding into a much larger, more central and fully-appointed location -- we also are staying close to our origins as a community arts center, a place for the people of Oklahoma and visitors to our city to explore creativity," said Oklahoma Contemporary founder and president, Christian Keesee. "We are excited to re-launch in January with an enhanced lineup of groundbreaking exhibitions, educational programs and performances that will explore and bring alive the art of our time."