Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Destination Oklahoma highlights communities, cultural traditions at the crossroads of the country

June 15, 2022
A drawing of a young girl with a black bob in a green shift holds a landline phone to her head. Two red boxes -- one of flowers, one of incense -- appear on the blue background.
Đan Lynh Phạm, Thank You, Bà Nội

Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OC_DOmediakit

New exhibition will feature more than a dozen works from five Oklahoma-based artists

Destination Oklahoma, opening at Oklahoma Contemporary on July 14, offers artist perspectives on the patterns of migration that have long shaped life in our state. Through more than a dozen works (ceramics, mixed media, paintings, photographs, prints and video) Oklahoma-based artists illuminate the distinct cultural backgrounds that have long existed at the country’s crossroads.

“Destination Oklahoma features artworks by five artists that touch upon the layered contexts and experiences of this place, and the ways in which we define — or misunderstand — what it means to be an Oklahoman,” said Oklahoma Contemporary Associate Curator Pablo Barrera. “As Oklahoma City welcomes refugees from Afghanistan, approaches the one-year anniversary of the First Americans Museum, revitalizes the Clara Luper Civil Rights Center, and sees a record increase of newcomers from other states, this exhibition is a timely opportunity to reflect on how the region’s long-standing patterns of human migration continue to shape our artistic landscape.”

A 2-D earth-toned artwork featuring a bust of a person with a mustache seemingly pasted onto a page of Arabic writing with words and phrases redacted
Ghazal Ghazi, Monumental Redactions: Ali’s Return to America from the Middle East Four Months after 9/11.

Photographs by September Dawn Bottoms suggest the complicated nature of intergenerational resilience, while drawings by Ghazal Ghazi co-mingle the Persian miniature format with contemporary portraiture. Paintings by Skip Hill reimagine symbolic imagery related to the Dust Bowl era, and paintings by America Meredith playfully mix pop culture references with historical illustrations of Indigenous subjects. Prints by Đan Lynh Phạm blend graphic language with Vietnamese folk art traditions to evoke the sense of connection — or disconnection — felt by some immigrants to the state.

Destination Oklahoma is a collaboration between Oklahoma Contemporary and guest co-curator Liz Blood, a Tulsa-based writer who is contributing a poetry zine featuring Oklahoma-based writers responding to artworks in the exhibition.

“My family migrated to Oklahoma just over 100 years ago,” Blood said. “Those of us who are not original inhabitants of this land share that history of migration that has made Oklahoma a beautiful and complex place. Destination Oklahoma celebrates and explores that complexity.”

The exhibition opens with a reception and an artist talk, 6-8 p.m. July 14, and will be on view in the Mary LeFlore Clements Oklahoma Gallery through Oct. 17.

Admission to Oklahoma Contemporary’s exhibitions and most programs is free.

A media kit featuring the press release, short artist bios and high-resolution images can be found at bit.ly/OC_DOmediakit. Interviews with the artists and Oklahoma Contemporary staff can be organized through Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.

About Oklahoma Contemporary
At the new, state-of-the-art Oklahoma Contemporary, visitors explore art and creativity through exhibitions, performances and a wide variety of educational programs. At its core, the multidisciplinary contemporary arts organization is an inclusive space. Exhibitions and most programs are free. You are always welcome here.

In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown home includes a flexible theater, a dance studio and nine classrooms for Camp Contemporary and Studio School. The 4.6-acre grounds also include The Studios, a renovated warehouse that houses ceramics, fiber, painting, printmaking and sculpture classes. Campbell Art Park, our Sculpture Garden and North Lawn lend outdoor space for exhibitions, programs and performances.

After providing contemporary art experiences of all kinds for 30 years at the State Fairgrounds, these new, centrally located facilities dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary’s capacity to meet growing demand for arts and culture across our city, state and region.

Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.

Images: Đan Lynh Phạm, Thank You, Bà Nội (Grandmother), 2021. Limited edition screenprint of digital illustration on fine art paper. 16 x 20 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Ghazal Ghazi. Monumental Redactions: Ali’s Return to America from the Middle East Four Months after 9/11, 2022. Oil paint, watercolor, embroidery floss, and pencil on linen. 84 x 67 in. Image courtesy of the artist.


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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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