Paseo Arts and Creativity Center makes room for OKCís expanding art scene
(Pictured above is the sculpture Honor and Courage by Heather Kaiser.)
With the opening of the new Paseo Arts and Creativity Center (PACC) earlier this year, the Paseo Arts Association (PAA) witnessed a dream of theirs begin to materialize after many years of planning. Since 1981, the organization has been promoting and helping cultivate the underlying soil of OKC’s deeply rich art community. By creating an environment that fosters arts and creativity, the Paseo has continually elevated and amplified the creative community through festivals, workshops, exhibitions, artist studios, galleries, merchants, restaurants and so much more. The PAA has been an important part of making that happening. This year marks a milestone for them as they opened the PACC, thus doubling their exhibition space, adding artist studios and upgrading their technical capabilities to accommodate more events, both live and virtual. This greatly enhances their ability to facilitate the continually growing needs of our city’s beautiful community of creatives.
With the opportunity that the PACC provides, the PAA was able to bring the Oklahoma Sculpture Society (OSS) to the Paseo Arts District for the first time ever. Through December 23, in the upper gallery, the OSS Annual Winter Sculpture Show is on display. This exhibit showcases the talent of more than 20 local sculptural artists. “Having begun a conversation almost two years ago about bringing this show to Paseo, it took moving into a bigger space to accommodate them, and we couldn’t be more honored,” said Amanda Bleakley, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association. Since its beginnings in 1979, the non-profit OSS devotes itself to the education, appreciation and creation of three-dimensional art.
Not only do the new digs afford the space for the PACC to host the prestigious OSS exhibition, concurrently they hosted their own juried SmallArts Show in the lower gallery. This show featured select works from local artists limited to under 15 inches in any dimension. The SmallArts Show features 80 works from all sorts of mediums and a variety of styles. It is truly worth a visit to see such a diverse curation and celebration of local talent of all skill levels from the hobbyist to the seasoned veteran artists exhibited side-by-side. The works vary in pricing from $25.00 to $199.00. This enables most people to be able to afford to bring their favorite piece home with them. The PAA intentionally limits the pricing to open patrons up to the understanding that anyone can appreciate and own art.
To expand their opportunities even further, the PACC is in the process of installing the modern tech needed to host multimedia exhibitions, small venue gatherings, and eventually adding virtual meeting capabilities. Most recently with the new temperature-balanced LED lighting they have refined their experience even further. The PAA continues to upgrade, improve, and adapt themselves to serve their purpose to the best of their ability. Unbelievably this all comes to fruition with the funds accrued from events, private donations, and grants.
Oklahoma City’s Unique Arts Destination, the Paseo Arts District is located between NW 27th & 30th Streets and Walker & Hudson. Each First Friday, Paseo galleries offer special themed exhibits, guest artists and a variety of live entertainment - all within walking distance. Ten restaurants and a handful of other shops round out the Paseo’s distinctive atmosphere.
If you would like to know more about the PACC or would like to support the work of the PAA please check out their website for more information at thepaseo.org.