15 Exciting Art Exhibits Coming to OKC This Fall

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

The nonprofit arts center is offering a series of free festivities planned for its open house weekend Sept. 23-24. The Open House not only celebrates the start of a major exhibition of Mexican artwork, but also serves as a redevelopment two and a half years after the Oklahoma Contemporary’s Automobile Alley headquarters opened.

“In a way, it makes up for lost time,” said director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “We had plans for amazing things to happen in March 2020, and the COVID pandemic got in the way of those plans. But we’re kickstarting in a way with this exhibit to make sure everyone here in our community knows that this is their art center and we are open for business.”

Oklahoma Contemporary presents “La casa que nos inventamos: contemporary art from Guadalajara” on Friday. It features around 50 conceptual artworks – from paintings and sculptures to installations and performances – created over the past decade by nearly 20 visual artists from or living in the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco. .

“This exhibit has been in the works for many years,” 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 We Invented” — isn’t the only major art exhibit creating buzz around town this fall.

From an intoxicating exhibit soaked entirely in tequila to glass artwork that resembles scenes from “Alice in Wonderland,” here are 15 must-see art exhibits at OKC this fall.

Installing Renata Petersen "Limpieza Karmática Express" is included in the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center exhibit "La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary art from Guadalajara."

1. “The house that our inventors”

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

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

Oklahoma City Museum of Art curator Rosie May talks about the works of Richard Marquis during a media preview of the exhibition "Highlights of the Rose Family Glassware Collection" Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  The exhibit includes eclectic works from the recently gifted Jerome V. and Judith G. Rose family glassware collection.

3. “Highlights of the Rose family glassware collection”

  • When and where: Until January 15, Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
  • Tickets: www.okcmoa.com.
  • WhatFrom wildly whimsical teapots that would look right at home on the Mad Hatter’s table to a grinning cast-glass “block head” topped with a heavy copper brick, the OKC Downtown Museum features 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: Until January 8, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org.
  • What: This fashionable show inspired by the museum’s extensive permanent collection examines the evolution of what is now known as a “cowboy hat”. The exhibit includes hats from famous actors such as John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Tom Selleck and Bing Russell; rodeo performers like Shirley Jauregui and Toots Mansfield and Western musicians like Johnny Lee Wills and Gene Autry.
The immersive exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art "Synesthesia," a colorful collaboration with the creative minds of artist collective OKC Factory Obscura., is seen Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Norman, Okla.

5. Factory Obscura 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. Presented at Film Row’s new location Sail & The Dock, 617 W Sheridan Ave., the exhibition allows art lovers to come face-to-face with the famous frescoes that adorn the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.
Acclaimed entertainer and Tulsa native Wilson Hurley speaks at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Friday, Oct. 7, 2005, in Oklahoma City, Okla.  In the background is his monumental triptych painting "arizona suite," which represents the Grand Canyon.  Hurley died in 2008.

7. “Look through the windows to the west”

  • When and where: Until February 19, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org.
  • What: Famous painter Wilson Hurley’s “Windows to the West” – five monumental triptychs depicting five iconic landscapes of the American West – have become the star attraction of the National Cowboy Museum’s Special Events Center. This behind-the-scenes exhibit details the five-year creation of the massive 15 paintings through never-before-seen sketches, test canvases, mathematical diagrams and more.

8. “The Horse Landscape”

In an August 28, 2008 file photo, famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami poses during the photocall for his film

9. “Abbas Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame”

10. “First Americans Museum: new acquisitions”

11. Exhibition and sale of traditional cowboy arts

  • When and where: Sept. 30-Jan. 2, National Museum of Cowboys and Western Heritage.
  • Tickets: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org.
  • What: Cowboy’s busy fall 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 of silversmiths working to preserve traditional western craftsmanship and elevate them into art forms.
"The other side of the mountain" by Oklahoma artist MtnWoman Silver will be featured in an exhibition in October at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center.

12. “Sunday Morning Meditations: The Power of Hope”

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

13. “Prismatic: a colorful faceted experience”

  • When and where: Until March, Science Museum Oklahoma.
  • Tickets: https://www.sciencemuseumok.org.
  • What: Presented in the museum’s smART Space galleries, the exhibition explores how color can influence opinion, communicate without words and even affect a person’s body. It features works by Oklahoma, interdisciplinary 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: Until October 17, Oklahoma Contemporary.
  • Tickets: https://oklahomacontemporary.org.
  • What: Five artists living across Oklahoma have created more than a dozen eclectic contemporary works of art that showcase the distinct cultural backgrounds coexisting at America’s crossroads. 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.
People visit the "Immersive Van Gogh" experience in Minneapolis.  The popular art exhibit will debut at the OKC on December 14.  Photo provided.

15. “Immersive Van Gogh”

Characteristics of Writer Brandy “BAM” McDonnell covered Oklahoma’s arts, entertainment and culture sectors for The Oklahoman for 20 years. Join her atbmcdonnell@oklahoman.com,www.facebook.com/brandybammcdonnell andtwitter.com/BAMOK. Support her work by signing up for herSee & Do Oklahoma Newsletter andsubscribe to The Oklahoman.

William E. Bennett