Oklahoma Contemporary hosting garage sale
Editor's Note: Oklahoma Contemporary's garage sale sold out on Wednesday. It will not be held on Thursday and Friday.
The Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center staff is only a few months away from moving into its new building off Broadway Avenue. The staff wants to have fewer things to pack into the moving truck, so it's asking residents – especially educators – to help lighten the load.
Oklahoma Contemporary started in 1989 and was developed by and for Oklahomans as a place where people can exhibit and learn about present-day art. Oklahoma Contemporary is a multidisciplinary arts organization, providing a catalyst for the exploration of creativity and contemporary practice through a program of groundbreaking exhibitions, performances and educational programs.
The center is hosting a garage sale at its current location, with doors opening to the public on Tuesday. People can shop Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. then from Wednesday to Friday, doors are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is at 3000 General Pershing Blvd., on the site of Oklahoma State Fair Park.
The sale items are set up inside the center's museum space, so people can shop in an air-conditioned room. Items range from picture frames to envelopes and much more in between. There are several weaving looms, lots of spools of yarn, stacks of colored paper, and a couple towers of plastic containers with lids. There are tables, cabinets, picnic tables and office supplies. Items are priced to move and credit cards are accepted. Educators are able to get some supplies for free.
In November, Oklahoma Contemporary's staff will move into the new center at NW 11th Street and Broadway Avenue. The 53,916-square-foot four-story building was designed by Greater Oklahoma City Chamber member Rand Elliott Architects and is being constructed by chamber member Smith & Pickel. A grand opening celebration is being planned for January.
In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, the new building includes a flexible theater space that seats 200, a dance studio and nine classroom studios. The building is the centerpiece of the purpose-built 4.6-acre Oklahoma Contemporary campus. The campus also includes a renovated 9,839 square-foot historic warehouse (to house studios for ceramics and fiber as well as metal and wood sculpture) and a three-block arts park, providing space for outdoor exhibitions, education programs and public performances.
Both the new building and the inaugural exhibition were inspired by the ever-changing light across Oklahoma’s sky. The inaugural exhibition is titled Bright Golden Haze, words from the first line in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical "Oklahoma!", in which a cowboy sings about the morning light in the dawn of Oklahoma’s statehood. The exhibition presents a diverse range of artworks from nationally and internationally acclaimed contemporary artists who use light to create a specific sense of place, utilizing the new building’s expanded gallery space to exhibit significant, large-scale works.
Over the course of its first year, Oklahoma Contemporary plans to expand its programming to present nine exhibitions –in the galleries, on its grounds and in adjacent Campbell Art Park –along with a wide variety of public programs to welcome upwards of 100,000 visitors, serving its community in Oklahoma and beyond.
The design and construction of the new building have been funded by a capital campaign, supported by the generosity of more than 200 donors who have given more than $22.1 million to date. The funds support both construction and opening-year programs, ensuring that admission to exhibitions remains free for all ages and allowing Oklahoma Contemporary to grow its audiences from 22,000 to about 100,000 in 2020.