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Exhibit C houses some of finest Chickasaw art, goods


Exhibit C in Bricktown is readying for its grand opening. (Photo by Shannon Cornman)
  • Photo by Shannon Cornman
  • Exhibit C in Bricktown is readying for its grand opening.

The Chickasaw Nation is one of the largest and most powerful tribes in Oklahoma, with land holdings covering 18 counties rich with both natural and cultural attractions.

The tribe makes its home in the southeastern part of the state, which — unknown to many — holds a wealth of tourism opportunities.

Exhibit C is a new art gallery and retail space opening at 1 E. Sheridan Ave. in the heart of Bricktown. The gallery plans to be a one-stop shop promoting the culture and art of the Chickasaw people while encouraging visitors to explore further.

“We are really hoping the million- plus visitors who visit Bricktown will go to Chickasaw Country next time they pass through Oklahoma,” said Paige Williams, director of tourism at the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce. “There are so many attractions right there in the corner of the state that so many are not aware of, including the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan.”

The gallery is around the corner from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, which the tribe obtained the naming rights to in 2012. Its red brick facade opens up into a long, deconstructed space. Above the welcome desk sits the gallery’s plain but sophisticated logo.

“We wanted something that generated interest and is a little bit mysterious,” Williams said of Exhibit C’s name.

Large blocks of earthy colors and soft lighting break up the gallery’s warehouse feel. The overall effect is soothing, with large, cream-colored couches tucked off to the side and natural light streaming in. It’s an old building with much of the structural detail intact but deconstructed — the pipes and HVAC are visible, and there are no walls closing any part of it off. Each area has its own section, and they all feed into one large, unrestricted space.

The artists for the first several months will be from the Chickasaw Nation. In future months, they could potentially open the gallery to any artists from the southeastern part of the state. But for now, the focus is on members of the tribe.

The featured artist for the opening is Mike Larsen, whose work also hangs in the Oklahoma State Capitol and the Chickasaw Cultural Center. The featured artist will rotate every four months or so.

The art on display is all for sale, and there will be something for every price point. Some of the artists, like Margaret Roach Wheeler, made special items for sale. Wheeler’s series of scarves is among the keepsakes available at the gallery.

Visitors can also purchase the full line of Bedré chocolates, including its chocolate-covered potato chips. Guests can also peruse a number of books produced by the Chickasaw about the history and people of its Nation.

Print headline: Chickasaw chateau: Bricktown’s newest attraction, Exhibit C, houses some of the finest art and merchandise the Chickasaw Nation has to offer.

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