ArtNow opening celebrations champion contemporary visions
When they say it takes a village? We live it. As a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, Oklahoma Contemporary relies on its community for support, conceptually and financially. While we uplift local and far-flung artists alike through free public programs and exhibitions, we are simultaneously carried by supporters and donors. We couldn’t do this work without them. Because of donations, sponsorships and grants alike, we are able to keep our exhibitions free of charge, year-round. One easy way to show your support (and have a great time)? Join us at the upcoming opening celebrations for ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer.
“Over more than three decades, ArtNow has evolved from a beloved community event featuring local artists to a major biennial exhibition focusing on new work spanning multiple disciplines by Oklahoma’s leading contemporary artists," says Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. "The event provides our supporters a first look at the next ArtNow and a chance to meet the artists, all while helping to advance our mission to make art accessible to everyone in our community.”
ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer provides a snapshot of the visual arts created in Oklahoma today, featuring works from 13 Oklahoma-connected artists, including sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, painting, performance and video. Learn more about exhibition’s poetic inspiration, its artists and its guest curator, Lindsay Aveilhé, here. And be among the first to see it on June 22. All proceeds from the event directly support our mission.
“Designed for seasoned contemporary art collectors and enthusiasts alike, ArtNow: Party With a Purpose is a chance for our community to celebrate artists living and working in our state, while ensuring the arts remain accessible for all,” says Chief Development Officer Trent Riley.
Tastemakers and trendsetters can gather for an exciting evening of contemporary art, cocktails and special performances. Guests can experience the ArtNow party in three different ways. The 21+ Party with a Purpose begins at 6 p.m., with both general admission and exclusive VIP access. Besides being the first visitors in the ArtNow gallery, guests can meet many of the artists. They can also catch the one-night-only performance of Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy by on-view artist Ashanti Chaplin and collaborator Gabriel Royal. They’ll also enjoy an open bar (including craft cocktails from WanderFolk Spirits and LALO Tequila), passed hors d’oeuvres and entry into the late-night hang and third experience of the evening.
Hosted by The Garde, ArtNow: Late Night on the Terrace will begin at 9 p.m., and include “the debut of an Oklahoma Contemporary-inspired beer from Vanessa House Beer Company,” says Riley, plus wine, light bites and all the dancing partiers can manage. Our outdoor terrace and North Lawn will be illuminated with lights, community and groovy tunes, giving guests an after-hours vibe of their arts center.
ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer navigates the landscape of Oklahoma as a site for questioning, dreaming and action. We invite you to engage with those same themes, at the party and during the exhibition’s run: question steps for the future, dream of the possibilities and take action in bringing that vision into fruition.
“As philosopher Marshall McLuhan said, ‘I think of art, at its most significant, as … a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it,’” says curator Aveilhé. “The wandering soul can be seen as a metaphor for our seeking selves, and the artworks in this exhibition not only call our attention to pressing issues of our time, but also give us a few strategies for how best to navigate these passages from the past to the future.“
Join us for the opening celebrations of ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer. Experience the evening your way at your arts center.
Return to New Light.