15 exciting art exhibits showing in OKC this autumn – Oklahoman.com

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From palm readings and family art-making to a car parade and performance art picnics, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center is welcoming the first weekend of fall in style.  

The nonprofit arts center has an array of free festivities planned for its Sept. 23-24 Open House weekend. The Open House not only is celebrating the debut of a major exhibition of Mexican artwork but also serving as a sort of do-over two and half years after the grand opening of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Automobile Alley headquarters had to be scrapped  

“In a way, it’s making up for lost time,” said Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “We had planned for some amazing things to happen in March of 2020, and the COVID pandemic got in the way of those plans. But we’re relaunching in some ways with this exhibition to make sure that everybody here in our community knows that this is their art center and we’re open for business.”  

Oklahoma Contemporary is premiering Friday “La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art From Guadalajara.” It is showcasing about 50 conceptual artworks — from paintings and sculptures to installations and performances — created within the last decade by nearly 20 visual artists from or living in the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco.   

“This exhibition is many years in the making,” Davis said. “We found a lot of parallels between the city of Guadalajara and the city of Oklahoma City.”  

But Oklahoma Contemporary’s “La casa que nos inventamos” — the title is Spanish for “The House That We Invented” — isn’t the only major art show building a buzz around town this fall. 

From an intoxicating exhibit entirely soaked in tequila to works of glass art that resemble scenes from “Alice in Wonderland,” here are 15 must-see art exhibits showing in OKC this autumn. 

1. ‘La casa que nos inventamos’  

  • When and where: Sept. 23-Jan. 9, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. 
  • Tickets: https://oklahomacontemporary.org.  
  • What: The exhibit features works by Mexican artists who rose to international prominence in the 2000s such as Jose Dávila, Eduardo Sarabia and Francisco Ugarte, along with up-and-comers like Isa Carillo, Larissa Garza and Renata Petersen. Admission is free to Oklahoma Contemporary. 

2. ‘Aliento a Tequila (The Spirit of Tequila)’ 

3. ‘Highlights from the Rose Family Glass Collection’   

  • When and where: Through Jan. 15, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. 
  • Tickets: www.okcmoa.com.  
  • What: From wildly whimsical teapots that would look at home on the Mad Hatter’s table to a smiling cast glass “Block Head” topped with a hefty copper brick, the downtown OKC museum is showing for the first time key pieces from the recently gifted Jerome V. and Judith G. Rose Family Glass Collection, which includes nearly 180 works by more than 80 artists.    

4. ‘Sombreros Texanas and Bosses of the Plains’ 

  • When and where: Through Jan. 8, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.  
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org
  • What: This fashionable show styled from the museum’s vast permanent collection looks at the the evolution of what is known today as a “cowboy hat.” The exhibit includes hats from famous actors like John Wayne, Steve McQueen Tom Selleck and Bing Russell; rodeo performers such as Shirley Jauregui and Toots Mansfield; and Western musicians including Johnny Lee Wills and Gene Autry. 

5. Factory Obscura’s ‘Synesthesia’ 

6. ‘Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition’ 

  • When and where: Sept. 30-Dec. 4, Sail & The Dock on Film Row. 
  • Tickets: https://chapelsistine.com.  
  • What: Part of a trend of immersive traveling pop-up exhibitions, it features near-life-size reproductions of one of the Western world’s most renowned artistic achievements. Displayed in the new Film Row venue Sail & The Dock, 617 W Sheridan Ave., the exhibit lets art lovers come face-to-face with the famed frescoes that adorn the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. 

7. ‘Looking Through the Windows to the West’ 

  • When and where: Through Feb. 19, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org
  • What: Renowned painter Wilson Hurley’s “Windows to the West” — five monumental triptychs portraying five iconic landscapes of the American West — has become the signature attraction inside the National Cowboy Museum’s Special Events Center. This behind-the-scenes exhibit details the five-year creation of the 15 massive paintings through never-before-exhibited sketches, test canvases, mathematical diagrams and more. 

8. ‘The Horse’s Landscape’ 

9. ‘Abbas Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame’  

10. ‘First Americans Museum: New Acquisitions’ 

11. Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition & Sale  

  • When and where: Sept. 30-Jan. 2, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org
  • What: The Cowboy’s busy autumn wouldn’t be complete without this long-running annual showcase for members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, a collective of saddle makers, bit and spur makers, rawhide braiders and silversmiths working to preserve traditional Western crafts and elevate them into fine art forms.  

12. ‘Sunday Morning Meditations: The Power of Hope’ 

  • When and where: Oct. 7-29, Paseo Arts and Creativity Center. 
  • Information: https://www.thepaseo.org
  • What: Oklahoma artist MtnWoman Silver was inspired by mindful meditations during Sunday church sermons for the past 10 years to create the paintings in this new exhibit, opening Oct. 7 during the monthly First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District. The group exhibit “Multidimensional,” including works by local artists artists Marylee Wright, Nicole Moan, Aztrid Moan and Jo Swigart, also will be on view in October at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center, where admission is free. 

13. ‘Prismatic: A Faceted Experience of Color’ 

  • When and where: Through March, Science Museum Oklahoma.  
  • Tickets: https://www.sciencemuseumok.org.  
  • What: On view in the museum’s smART Space galleries, the exhibit explores how color can sway opinion, communicate without words and even affect a person’s body. It features works by interdisciplinary Oklahoma artist Sarah Hearn, Austin, Texas-based artist Laurie Frick and Auckland, New Zealand-based composer and media artist Jesse Woolston.  

14. ‘Destination Oklahoma’ 

  • When and where: Through Oct. 17, Oklahoma Contemporary. 
  • Tickets: https://oklahomacontemporary.org.  
  • What: Five artists living across Oklahoma created more than a dozen eclectic contemporary artworks that showcase the distinct cultural backgrounds coexisting at the crossroads of America. The exhibit includes photographs by September Dawn Bottoms, drawings by Ghazal Ghazi, paintings by Skip Hill and America Meredith and prints by Dan Lynh Phạm. 

15. ‘Immersive Van Gogh’

Features Writer Brandy “BAM” McDonnell has covered Oklahoma’s arts, entertainment and cultural sectors for The Oklahoman for 20 years. Reach her at[email protected],www.facebook.com/brandybammcdonnell andtwitter.com/BAMOK. Support her work by signing up for herSee & Do Oklahoma newsletter and subscribing to The Oklahoman. 

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