If a city’s artistic endeavors speak to the quality of life it offers, then the livin’ is good in Tulsa.
Holly has covered local visual and performance arts for Urban Tulsa Weekly for almost three years, and every time she sees new works by a progressive contemporary artist, or watches an actor fearlessly give himself over to character, or attends a performance by our world-renowned ballet and opera companies, she can’t help but beam with pride. There is a wealth of talent in Tulsa, and citizens of our city should consider themselves lucky that the artists working here have chosen to do so, rather than take their craft elsewhere.
It’s common for out-of-towners (and even some in-towners) to be unaware of the bountiful arts offerings available in Tulsa. And since it’s TDT’s mission to prove you folks who think there’s nothing to do in Tulsa wrong, it's time to set the record straight about the arts here.
So, whether you’re new in town, planning a day trip to Tulsa or just finally want to succumb to the realization that your city has more to offer you than you’ve ever dreamed, we’ve got a weekend chock full of arts-themed activities to keep you occupied. Choose one or two, or do ‘em all.
Just know: this is not everything. This barely scratches the surface of what’s being produced and performed here in Tulsa. But, it’s a good place to start.
New Genre Festival XVI
Living Arts of Tulsa
Feb. 26-March 1
Living Arts of Tulsa has been presenting and developing cutting-edge, contemporary art forms in Tulsa since its inception in 1969. Through exhibitions, creative workshops, performances, films/videos, demonstrations, educational activities and research, Living Arts seeks to fulfill two goals: to bring to Tulsa outside artists who are pushing the limits of their media and to encourage local artists to develop new, exploratory works not usually seen in Tulsa.
Perhaps the best way to get an idea of what Living Arts does is to visit its annual New Genre Festival, which just happens to be going on this weekend. Scattered around downtown and Midtown Tulsa are various exhibits and performances by 110 local, regional and national artists, all of varying media and all of whom are exploring the boundaries of non-traditional art forms. For a complete itinerary of the events happening this weekend, visit Tulsa Art Blog and check out “New Genre in a Nutshell,” or visit the Living Arts online.
Bonus (as if you needed one): Most of the exhibitions are free and open to the public. But, the performance works have an admission price. Check the Living Arts Web site for showtimes and ticket prices.
Hansel and Gretel
Tulsa PAC, Chapman Music Hall
Friday, Feb. 27/March 1; 7:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.
The classic fairytale of the Brothers Grimm is combined with a lush Wagner-inspired romantic score in this evocative operatic masterpiece. Find tickets at the Tulsa Opera Web site.
Tulsa PAC, Liddy Doenges Theatre
Feb. 26-28, 8 p.m.
A twenty six year old woman working as a hairdresser signs up for a university course because she is eager to learn and discover what the educated lifestyle has to offer. Learn more and find tickets at the Theatre Tulsa Web site. Read more at the Theatre Tulsa Web site.
Romeo and Juliet
(The new!) Playhouse Theatre
Tulsa PAC, Charles E. Norman Theatre
Feb. 25-28, 8 p.m.
Come witness one of the greatest love stories of all time like you’ve never seen it before. Read more and find tickets at the Playhouse Theatre Web site.
Not all art happens in galleries or theatres. Several local restaurants show local art, including Thyme: An American Bistro, at 31st and Harvard.
Showing starting this weekend is Wichita, Kans.-born freelance photographer Hannah Schrag. Schrag became interested in photography after working on a humanitarian project in India. Her greatest enjoyment comes from international assignments, capturing the lives of people and the cultural beauty of Asia and South America. In 2007, Schrag journeyed to China to explore her mother's native culture. During her time there, she backpacked through four different provinces, into the heart of China. It was during this time that the China photos were taken and it is why each one has a special story.
1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road
In addition to the extensive permanent collections at Gilcrease Museum, now showing is an exhibition of American impressionist work from 1870 to 1940, original Cheyenne and Arapaho ledger art and more than 40 works by wood sculptor Willard Stone.
Gilcrease Museum is one of the country’s best resources for American history and art. Founded by Thomas Gilcrease, the 460-acre museum houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. The museum also offers an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts, as well as historical manuscripts, documents and maps. The museum also offers wonderful educational programs for children and adults. Twenty-three of the museum’s acres are cultivated, lush gardens.
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Road
In addition to the Philbrook collection of Native American art, African art, American painting and sculpture, Japanese painting, European painting and sculpture, Baroque painting and sculpture, modern and contemporary art, outdoor sculpture and works on paper (WHEW!), the museum also has on display selected works from its recently-acquired Eugene B. Adkins collection, a collection of Native American works on paper and an exhibition of masterpieces of American photography from the George Eastman House Collection.
Philbrook Museum exists because oilman Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve understood and appreciated the possibility of Tulsa’s future as an arts and culture hub. In 1938, the couple donated their 72-room mansion and the surrounding 23 acres of grounds, originally constructed as a place for their two children to entertain guests, for an arts endeavor. Today, the museum is astonishing in not only its permanent collection of great art, but also its immense and beautiful gardens and its commitment to arts education in Tulsa.
Would love to go out and see a show this weekend, but you checked all your pockets and alas, you have no tickets? Fear not. Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Theatre Tulsa, one lucky Tasha Does Tulsa reader will win two tickets to the Thursday night, 8 p.m. showing of Educating Rita.
I'll randomly choose and post a winner at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday). Good luck, and happy art crawling!
If the art event you're headed to this weekend doesn't appear in this post, please e-mail me.