Looking out across a brown Oklahoma plain scorching under the summer sun can bring anyone down. Summer in Oklahoma City may bring freedom, but it also brings sizzling heat, often paired with a good amount of rainless days. If you’re looking for a way to keep cool and escape the doldrums of long summer days, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art may be just what you are looking for with a number of exhibits here just for the summer months.
One exhibit, Shining Spirit: Westheimer Family Collection, is a highly diverse collection of art collected by the Westheimer collection. It will feature six sections, including Realism in Portraiture, 1960-1980; Fantasy and Humor; Realism and Photorealism; The Mystical and the Surreal; Optical Art and Geometric Abstraction; and Painterly Abstraction. Martin Johnson Heade, William Merritt Chase, Georgia O’Keeffe, and John Martin will be just a few artists whose work will be displayed in this collection. This exhibit will run all summer until August 19th and is an official Oklahoma Centennial Event.
Similarly, the exhibition Breaking the Mold: Selections from the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1961-1968 is also a Centennial Event and will run until August 19th. This collection has been a part of the museum since 1968 and includes over fifty artists. It marks a transitional period in American art, when art was moving away from the abstract expressionism of the postwar time period. It includes paintings, sculpture, and other media broken into four sections: Late Forms of Expressionism; New Image; Minimalism; and Washington Color Painters. Marcel Duchamp, Ellsworth Kelly, Morris Louis, and Richard Diebenkorn are just a few of the artists whose works will be a part of this exhibit.
Another exhibit on display until July 15 is Leaving a Mark: The Winston and Ada Eason Collection of ‘Monuments of American Graphic Artists’ on the second floor of the museum. This collection is one owned by the museum and includes lithographs, engravings, woodcuts, and other forms of print media from the 19th and 20th century. Some of the artists in this exhibition are John Hames Audobon, Childe Hassam, Stuart Davis, and Thomas Hart Benton.
If none of these exhibits interest you, the David Chihuly exhibit will be sure to dazzle you (and your kids as well). His works are large hand-blown glass pieces, arranged in sculptures, ceilings, and on walls done in a splendid array of colors. This collection is located on the third floor, but be sure to visit the Waterford Crystal Chandelier located in the theater lobby on the first floor.
If your up for a night on the town (or in the museum!), the Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers dinner and a movie combo. For $28, you can have the choice of three dishes for each course (the meal includes two courses). You can also purchase a movie ticket by itself; the cost of admission for adults is $8 and $6 for students and seniors. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art shows a variety of movies, mainly independent and foreign films; check the museum’s website for a schedule of movies.
Another event not to be missed happens every Thursday-the Oklahoma City Museum of Art features Cocktails on the Skyline from 5:00-10:30 when weather permits, open to all ages. This features a full bar (for those over 21) and appetizers on the roof of the museum-you can come for the art and catch a martini and the sunset while you’re at it. It also includes Skyline Cinema and live jazz music. The galleries close at nine, however.
On Saturdays from 1-4, the price of admission also includes drop-in art classes ranging from clay sculptures to watercolors. And you can bring your whole family to these classes. If you’re interested in a more structured class, the museum offers a variety of classes at other times; however, the cost of these is not included in admission.
Individual admissions to the galleries are just $9 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. If you’re interested in a membership, they are available for $50 for the individual and $75 for a family (two adults and household children) for a year; these include admission to the museum, discounts at the Museum Store and on classes, invitations to preview parties for new exhibitions, and the Museum’s newsletter, published quarterly, among other benefits. There are also a number of other types of memberships available.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is located at 415 Couch Drive, and parking is available for $6 north of the building. Also, parking meters are available along the streets. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with an extension to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and from noon-5 p.m. on Sundays. It’s closed on Mondays and all major holidays.
So if you can’t stand heading for the pool yet again, head on over to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Not only will you escape the heat, but also you can introduce your kids to the fun of art (and reintroduce yourself while you’re at it!).