Downtown Oklahoma City in Automobile Alley
Oklahoma Contemporary has begun construction on the state’s next cultural destination, a contemporary arts center at NW 11th and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City. The new facility will open in the fall of 2019.
The 4.6-acre arts campus will become the north gateway to downtown Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center will be home to a new 53,916 square-foot building, a renovated 9,839 square-foot historic warehouse, a three-block arts park and space for outdoor exhibitions, education programs and public performances
The campus will include:
Folding Light: 53,916-square-foot building with 7,279 square-feet of gallery space and nine classrooms
First floor: lobby, one early childhood classroom and four other general classroom/ multipurpose rooms, Teen Art Studio, 1,300 square feet of gallery space, café and retail areas
Second floor: 6,700 square feet of gallery space, hands-on learning gallery, photo classroom, sound studio, multimedia lab, artist-in-residence studio, staff offices and a balcony to be used as outdoor classroom or event space
Third floor: a theater that will seat 150 (plus 49 more on the mezzanine level), a dance studio and a green room and performing arts lobby/event space that will serve both
Fourth floor: theater mezzanine and staff offices
The Studios: Renovated 9,839-square-foot 1910 historic warehouse, adjacent to Folding Light
Industrial Arts program, focusing on ceramics, fiber, metal, wood, glass and more
The four-story building, designed by renowned Oklahoma architect Rand Elliott, is called “Folding Light” because of the way the Galvalume metal exterior will reflect Oklahoma’s ever-changing sky.
Oklahoma Contemporary has reached the halfway mark of its campaign with $13 million raised to date. Leadership donors include the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Kirkpatrick Foundation, Nancy and George Records, Christian Keesee, Love Family Fund, E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Clements Foods Foundation, Charles and Laurie Givens, Herman and LaDonna Meinders and Ann Simmons Alspaugh.
The $13 million remaining to be raised will include $1.5 million for initial operations on the new campus and $1 million for endowment.
“We plan to open the main building in 2018,” Keesee said. “In the meantime, we are going to continue building our campus and programming at both the fairgrounds and at NW 11th and Broadway.”
Oklahoma Contemporary installed Terra, Orly Genger’s knotted rope sculpture, in Campbell Park in October 2014. The Showroom at Oklahoma Contemporary, made of four shipping containers, opened on the site in March 2015.
“The progress is exciting for us and for the state of Oklahoma,” said Donna Rinehart-Keever, Oklahoma Contemporary’s executive director. “The new campus will allow us to extend our reach throughout the Oklahoma community.”
Keesee offers a broader vision: “What we’re doing is not just building an arts center, but a way of life.”