Monday, November 19, 2007

Centennial Opening: State Arts Collection

Sunset CeremonyCentennial Spectacular

OKLAHOMA STATE ART COLLECTION GALLERY. The long-awaited Oklahoma State Art Collection Gallery, operated by the Oklahoma State Arts Council, opened at noon on Saturday, November 17, at the State Capitol. Sadly, this event seemed to receive almost no pre-event publicity — but Doug Dawg thinks that it was one of the very finest Centennial events to occur! If mention was made in the Oklahoman other than a short "blurb" on November 15, I didn't catch it.

For a 2-Minute Tour, click the "Play" button below

Nothwithstanding the Oklahoman's lack of coverage, a very nice spread did occur in the November 18 Tulsa World, excerpts being the following:
Treasure Trove
State's art collection goes on display at Capitol

Some of the artists whose work makes up that collection had forgotten all about it.

That's because most of the art that makes up the Oklahoma State Art Collection dates to the 1970s, when the Oklahoma Arts Council established the collection as a way to collect and preserve the works of Oklahoma artists.

And — with the exception of a few pieces shown at Oklahoma City museums and on tours of Oklahoma towns in the 1980s — the collection has not been on public display for many years, in part because there has never been an official gallery space for it.

That changed Saturday, when as part of the state's Centennial Celebration, the Oklahoma State Art Collection Gallery opened in the State Capitol Building in Oklahoma City.

The gallery occupies the space in the Capitol's west wing that for many years housed the offices of the state's attorney general.

"This is the first permanent home this collection has ever had," said Amber Sharples, visual arts director for the Oklahoma Arts Council who also serves as curator for the collection. "And to have that home in the state's capitol building is a way to show that Oklahoma recognizes the importance of the arts in people's lives."
See the complete article for more.

In this new facility, the State Art Collection, which began to form in 1971, certainly has a dandy home now! Located in the west wing of the first floor of the State Capitol in space formerly occupied by the Attorney General's offices, it presents a dazzling display of art which has been contributed to the collection since 1971 and which consists of more than 175 works of art (though not all are displayed in the inaugural exhibit). You can read more about the collection and facilities at the State Arts Council website.

For now, though, watch the people, see the speeches (without actually having to hear them!), and take a walk with me through this wonderful new facility!

Get there by entering the State Capitol (through the south entrance which puts you at the 1st level, or west entrance which is actually the basement). Go to the Rotunda and look up and you see the inside of the Capitol Dome ... as always, click on a pic for a larger view ...

From There, Look West ...
The Dark Entrance Awaits the Opening Ceremony

Dignitaries and Ordinary Folk Like Doug Dawg Hanging Around

Federal District Judge Robert Henry at Left

Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson

Betty Price, recently retired 24-year State Arts Council Executive Director
Mary Jo Watson, Director of the University of Oklahoma School of Art
Wanda Otey Westheimer, Long-Time Arts Patron & Benefactor from Ardmore

Several Speeches Commemorating the Occasion Were Made
Most Were Brief and To The Point

Oklahoma Centennial Executive Director Blake Wade

Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins (she's very cool, by the way)

Ribbon Cutting By Betty Price & Jari Askins

And The Gates Are Open!

A Walkabout in the New Gallery!

Upon Entering, a Video Panel Can Help With The Story

Or You Can Just Lollygag Around ...

Amber Sharples
Curator of the Oklahoma State Arts Collection
Put It All Together!

Is She Too Cool or What?

The Gallery is free and is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. You'd be utterly crazy not to go!

Go To 3-Day Centennial Tour Page   Go To Top


Anonymous said...

Doug Dawg did an amazing job (as always) and captured the spirit of the gallery! I am delighted that he focused on the new gallery and the collection which is the collection of art for each Oklahoman to take pride in our voice and culture in the arts.

Please come and enjoy the space!

Amber Sharples

Anonymous said...

DD is right. Amber is too cool...

And HOT!

Doug Dawg said...

Amber, looks like you've got a new secret admirer!