The history of the Film Row District is what makes it intriguing, but today’s modern spirit is what makes it inviting. The spaces the art occupies are even more remarkable. Major Hollywood film studios like Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros, MGM amongst others had offices in the same buildings that still stand there today. Film Row is located in downtown Oklahoma City on Sheridan between Dewey and Shartel. The variety of art you can experience along the stretch is unique. Here are a few of the art finds in the district.
When you walk into Individual Artists of Oklahoma or IAO you’ll immediately notice that the open space houses artwork from Oklahoma artists that focuses on experimental and thought-provoking art. The contemporary space features year-round shows of all kinds. The non-profit art gallery hosts many events including visual art exhibitions, poetry readings, live music, film screenings and plays. The venue is open to the public and most of the art on display is for sale. IAO is located at 706 West Sheridan Avenue.
Standing in the parking lot of The Paramount and Plant Shoppe, you might feel a bit small. The reason for that could be the fact that the mural of Oklahoma City Thunder Center Steven Adams is larger than life, literally. The spray-painted picture almost takes up the entire side of The Paramount building. Adams’ fellow New Zealander Graham Hoete, an internationally known graphic artist, spray-painted the gigantic mural of the fierce-looking basketball star. The mural is located at 701 West Sheridan Avenue.
Performance art is alive and well on Film Row at Carpenter Square Theatre. Live and unedited year-round productions can be seen in the intimate space. Productions range from award-winning modern works to hilarious comedy classics. Your ticket to a Carpenter Square Theatre show gives you an opportunity to check out artwork from local artists as well, which are on display in the lobby gallery of the theatre. Carpenter Square is located at 806 West Main Street.
The visually stimulating 21c Museum Hotel occupies the historic Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant. The boutique hotel is also a contemporary art museum free to the public. This is the sixth of its kind in the United States. The art is not your run-of-the-mill art, and it’s all part of the hotel’s owners art collection. Exhibits include paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Even a very interesting display of synchronized mechanical penguins can be seen. The hotel’s restaurant, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, also provides uncommon art displays to enjoy as you grab a bite to eat. There’s a gift shop and event space as well. The hotel is located at 900 West Main Street.
In addition to the permanent murals and spaces that offer year-round opportunities to engage in the arts in the district, The Exchange on Film Row is an outdoor walkable street festival free for the entire family that takes place every third Friday from May-October. It’s the ideal way to enjoy the district when it’s fully alive and teaming with activities. The event features local food trucks, art, a kids area, live music, a beer garden and pop-up shops. In addition to the festival, this is a perfect time to experience the local businesses, restaurants and art spaces that occupy Film Row. The festival is located at North Lee Avenue and West Sheridan Avenue.