The Arts: Oklahoma on the Rise - Central Oklahoma Frontier Country

The Arts: Oklahoma on the Rise

Posted by Emily Reagan, public relations director on 08/11/2008

CENTRAL OKLAHOMA - The arts thrive in central Oklahoma. Whether it is performing arts or visual arts, Oklahoma's museums and cultural attractions are one of the top draws for out-of-state tourists.

"The momentum of the Centennial is carrying over and you are seeing a bigger and better version of everything in 2008," said Peter Dolese, Arts Council of Oklahoma City executive director. "Expect to see extravagant exhibits, new features at your favorite events, and big-name shows on stage.  Everyone is ready to bring the best and make Oklahoma shine."

Art Galore

The Frontier Country area has a wide range of art offerings, including major museums, numerous visual art galleries, studios and exhibit spaces, and countless music and arts organizations and festivals. Theater companies in the region, such as Lyric Theatre, Sooner Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and Oklahoma Children's Theatre, present shows ranging from the classics to Broadway at various unique venues. Plus there are several colleges that feature numerous dance, music, theater performances and visual art exhibits.

"Frontier Country is truly an arts and cultural destination," said Suzanne Tate, executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council.  "We have an environment where the arts are flourishing.  Any tourist will be amazed to discover so many unique art options."

Oklahoma City boasts the Oklahoma City Museum of Art with the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass art and the tallest tower. Currently the museum is hosting the Roman Art Collection from the Louvre, an impressive collection of 184 pieces of Roman art on display through Oct. 12. The highly-regarded symphony Oklahoma City Philharmonic performs at the Civic Center Music Hall and kicks off its much-anticipated 20th anniversary season with the Inasmuch Classic Series Sept. 13.  The Canterbury Choral Society, which opens its new season Oct. 4, performs choral and orchestral music with 170 adult singer and 150 children.

But Oklahoma City is not the only community rich in fine arts of Frontier Country. Shawnee boosts one of the oldest museums in the state, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, which has permanent collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman objects, art from the Renaissance through the early 20th century and Native American cultural artifacts.

In Norman, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is one of the finest university art museums with an 8,000-object permanent collection of French Impressionism, American painting and sculpture, Native American art, Asian art and photography. And contemporary art lovers will enjoy the Mainsite Contemporary Gallery, which showcases work by living international and local artists.

The Niche

Art lovers will be impressed by Frontier Country's unique art-viewing opportunities. The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in Oklahoma City has historic and contemporary photography exhibits as well as displays of antique cameras. The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame and Museum in Guthrie has the largest collection of Jazz Age banjos on public display anywhere in the world.

And, of course, tourists will enjoy Oklahoma's unique Western and American Indian heritage through art and artifacts at the Red Earth Museum or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, or catch some country-western music at the Oklahoma Opry.

Plus there is a wealth of small galleries, such as Individual Arts of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Heritage Museum and Untitled [Artspace] that show off unique art and sculpture from Oklahoma artists.

There's so much art to take in while visiting Frontier Country. Request a free regional travel guide and learn about upcoming art festivals and performances at


For Immediate Release: Aug. 11, 2008

Contact: Emily Reagan, public relations director

Telephone: 405-232-6552

E-mail: [email protected]


Note to Media: Download art-related photos here

Oklahoma City Museum of Art photos:

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum photos:

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art:

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art: