From about-to-get-a-Van-Gogh-exhibit Oklahoma City Museum of Art to soon-to-be-relocated Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and Factory Obscura’s new space Mix-Tape and the numerous other arts organizations that we unforgivably omitted from this list just now, Oklahoma City is rife with enriching art experiences, but if you’re fortunate enough to be able to take a day or a weekend trip this summer, why not expand your horizons? The following museums and art galleries offer unique experiences outside the OKC metro, and a few of them are — gasp — even outside Tulsa.
108 E. Mathew B. Brady St., Tulsa
This fine craft gallery in the renovated Mathews Warehouse complex always offers something unexpected. Start driving now and, depending on when you’re reading this, you might still catch Beth Lipman: Accidental Vestiges (through Sunday), an exhibition of intricately crafted glassworks made to look like the refuse of everyday life. If this weekend is already booked, check out Todd Sanders: Roadside Neon (June 7-July 21), a luminous Route 66-inspired exhibit. And if you find reclaimed materials romantic, Building on the Body (Aug. 2-Sept. 22) — an exhibition of jewelry made out of building materials including cement, corrugated cardboard, copper mesh and steel — might be the perfect place to put a ring on it.
- Ahha / provided
- A young visitor is mesmerized by Daniel Sutliff’s video animation in The Experience.
101 E. Archer St., Tulsa
Combining galleries, arts education programs and multimedia studios, ahha, formerly known as Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, helps foster Tulsa’s art scene. Through the end of the year, you can experience The Experience, an immersive, interactive multimedia art installation. The arts center also features more traditional art exhibitions including Into the Land of Spectres (Aug. 2-Sept. 22) featuring eerie large-scale drawings; Stillness/Movement (June 7-July 21) a collaboration with Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles; and Together/Apart (Aug. 2-Sept. 22), featuring works by New Mexico art collective The Lady Minimalists Tea Society.
Chickasaw Cultural Center
867 Cooper Memorial Drive, Sulphur
The Chickasaw people tell their own story at this expansive cultural center, which features fine art, reenactments, interactive history exhibits, a traditional village and more. The Removal Corridor allows visitors to trace the route Native Americans took following the Indian Removal Act passed by Andrew Jackson in 1830, and the Spirit Forest celebrates the sacred connection between humans and the natural world around them. The fine art galleries feature traditional and contemporary works in rotating exhibits. Aprons: Tying Together Chickasaw Kitchens (through Sept. 1) chronicles the traditional role of women in Chickasaw households, and Portraits of Elders (through Dec. 31) showcases 20 of artist Mike Larsen’s paintings of Chickasaw elders.
- Philbrook Museum of Art / provided
1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa
Featuring items from indigenous people in North and South America and archeological artifacts dating back to 12,000 BCE, Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art features paintings, sculptures and other artworks in its permanent collection, and rotating exhibits offer even further insight into the American West. Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond (through Sept. 15) is the temporary home for The Bob Dylan Center’s collection of the singer/songwriter’s paintings, drawings, writings and personal effects. Pulitzer Prize Photographs (through July 14) offers exactly what the title suggests, and the ongoing exhibition Americans All! showcases cultural contributions made by immigrants.
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Road, Tulsa
Set amidst a 25-acre garden complete with a full-scale log cabin on permanent display, the Philbrook would be a sight to see even without its extensive art collection, which includes works by Robert Henri, Frederick Carl Frieseke and Kehinde Wiley. Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place (through Oct. 6) celebrates the global cultural impact of Islamic art, and judging by the un-wondrous state of our own world, it seems this exhibit couldn’t come at a better time and place.
- Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Refuge
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Road, Bartlesville
But if you are judging museums by their acreage, it would be hard to beat Woolaroc, a 3,700-acre wildlife preserve featuring buffalo, elk, longhorn cattle and other animals as well as a museum of Western art and artifacts including Native American baskets, pottery, blankets and clothing. The museum’s collection includes paintings by Western art masters such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Thomas Moran; heroic-sized sculptures; vintage colt firearms; saddles; and other cowboy gear. If nothing sparks your interest here, you might just be living in the wrong state.