Oklahoma Contemporary

Press Item

What Is the Role of a Museum in One of Polarized America’s Most Purple States? Oklahoma Contemporary Offers a Case Study

ArtNet • March 17, 2020
Rendered view of entrance to Oklahoma Contemporary's main building made of reflective aluminum fins against a sunset of dark blue sky fading to purple and pink clouds

As museums work to appeal to constituents, regardless of political affiliation, in an increasingly polarized political moment, the Oklahoma Contemporary offers a case study in retaining institutional convictions while remaining welcoming and approachable.

Oklahoma City hasn’t registered on many people’s radars the way [David] Holt—the Republican mayor and former board president of Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park—would like. The city that birthed the Flaming Lips used to be the blue-collar step-sibling to more sophisticated Tulsa, but has since outpaced its northern neighbor’s arts offerings.

“Our first challenge is that they don’t think of us at all, and then if you force them to think of us, they may have silly images of the Wild West, the musical, college football, or something,” Holt said.

That’s why the stakes are high for Oklahoma Contemporary, a 53,916-square-foot, custom-built space that sits on 4.5 acres and includes a dance studio, classrooms, studios for ceramic and fiber artists, and 8,000 square feet of gallery space.

Full Article

Additional Oklahoma Contemporary launch coverage:

Metal heart - New arts centre provides Oklahoma City with galleries, performance spaces and studios to support a growing local creative scene.

Light is a recurring motif inside and out of Oklahoma City's new cultural landmark

Oklahoma’s Light-Bending Contemporary Art Center Has Been Completed
Architectural Digest

Dawning of a new day: Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center opens long-awaited new home
The Oklahoman

New arts space finds its muse in the atmospheric Oklahoma sky
The Art Newspaper

Architect Rand Elliott talks about Oklahoma Contemporary's new home
Gray Magazine

Zigzagging aluminium walls wrap Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

Oklahoma Contemporary Opens New Arts Center Inspired by Ever-Changing Light

New Oklahoma Contemporary draws on the region's light and sky

Rand Elliott completes light-bending Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center
The Architect's Newspaper

Tour and Tell: The new Oklahoma Contemporary is going to be amazing!
The Lost Ogle

An inside look at the finished Oklahoma Contemporary arts center in downtown OKC
KFOR News 4

The arts in Oklahoma City are to be celebrated, and accessible to all
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center opens its new building in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Contemporary and a Façade Reflecting the Open Skies [English Version]
Il museo di Oklahoma City e quel fronte che riflette i cieli del Midwest [Italian Version]
Elle Decor

リニューアルした「Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center」「Folding Light」が街の新しいビーコンに
Axis Web Magazine

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Centre por Rand Elliott Architects
Ambientes Digital


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

see additional holidays


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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