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The Museum Experience

Destinations for art, science, and exercising the senses



 



Shift, Current Studio’s wildly popular immersive art installation from Factory Obscura, may have ended on February 25, but such a multi-sensory experience has only whetted the appetites of many Okies for more of this type of experiential art. Fear not, for although Shift has shut down, there are many noted museums and galleries in neighboring cities across the Midwest within a day’s drive. If you’ve got the travel bug and a taste for experiential art, or just want to check out some of the best museums and works of art around, here are a few more spots where you can stimulate the senses as well as the mind.
 

 

Museum of Osteology

Not exactly wild and immersive, but quite strange nonetheless, OKC’s Museum of Osteology (skeletonmuseum.com) is one of the state’s coolest museums, and a lot closer than St. Louis or Santa Fe. A large two-story room surrounded by glassed-in exhibits houses bones from the tiniest of creatures to the largest mammals. The behemoths of the collection are displayed in the center, with the skeleton of a 40-foot-long humpback whale hanging over all. Information on special adaptations and evolution are scattered throughout the displays, and you can get scavenger hunt sheets to mark as you visit. For the uber-curious, there is information on the process of preparing the skeletons; founder Jay Villemarette has been featured on TV’s “Dirty Jobs.” This museum will appeal to all ages – except, perhaps the very youngest visitors. For others, perhaps the creepiest exhibit is Villemarette’s skull … and he’s not dead. No spoiler alerts here. You’ll have to visit the museum. - Elaine Warner

 

Crystal Bridges

For a long time, Crystal Bridges was a surprise to people not from Arkansas – but slowly, this museum, founded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, has gained ground as one of the most relevant art museums in the United States. The 217,000-square-foot facility is built over two creeks and features exclusively American art from Colonial to contemporary with notable works from artists such as Winslow Homer, Jasper Cropsey, John LaFarge, Asher Durand, Marsden Hartley and Norman Rockwell. A stroll through the garden is a must, and is highlighted by a home built by Frank Lloyd Wright. - Matt Payne

 

Meow Wolf Experiences

Santa Fe has long been known for art, but Meow Wolf Experiences is something you must see to fully understand. This art collective experience is made up of more than 200 artists and incorporates sculpture, photography, painting, virtual and augmented reality, audio engineering and performance into an interactive, otherworldly experience akin to Alice’s trip to Wonderland. House of Eternal Return is Meow Wolf’s first permanent installation, and was designed with the help of “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin. A narrative-driven wander through the 20,000-square-foot Eternal Return features mysterious portals, climbing apparatuses and secret passages to hidden surreal art exhibits. And while it is a wild experience, it is also kid friendly. - MP

 

Meow Wolf


 

Art Institute of Chicago

Completed in 1893 for that year’s World Columbian Exposition, the Art Institute of Chicago was huge, built in massive Beaux Arts style. And that was before the eight additions made since its construction – necessary to accommodate almost 300,000 works of art. You could spend days wandering through the collections. For a fast trip, check out these highlights: Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” and Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” The Impressionist collection is a real favorite with many, as well. In a room all its own, you’ll find the six-panel stained glass work “America Windows” by Marc Chagall – a gift given to the Art Institute by Chagall himself. Eight feet tall and 30 feet wide, the windows, a visual celebration of the nation’s bicentennial, highlight America’s freedom of cultural and religious expression. The AIC refers to these beauties as “One of the most beloved treasures in our vast collection.” - EW

 


 

► Elaine Warner is Adventure Grandma


Museums can be an educational adventure, but one hardly ever thinks of them as an insurance risk. The City Museum in St. Louis is a daredevil’s dream on steroids.
 

Don’t be fooled by the name. Could it sound more boring? I would never have gone if it hadn’t been on the itinerary of a press trip, but the creation of the late Bob Cassilly – artist, sculptor, genius, marcher to a different drum – is a conglomeration of things to climb on, slide down, crawl into and explore. The first sign that City Museum was going to be a little different was the yellow school bus hanging over the edge of the roof.

The museum is a monument to imaginative recycling: The building was once the home of the International Shoe Company, so chutes that once were used to send shoes from one floor to another have been turned into slides. A stainless steel refrigeration coil formerly used in a large beer tank in the Anheuser-Busch Brewery has become the Slinky of Death, with kids climbing fearlessly up and down. Pans that once held mice in Washington University’s research lab make a shiny wall covering leading to the bathrooms. The Puking Pig that dumps water into a pool is made of part of a boiler tank and the axle system of an 1880 fire pump.

There are caves and giant carved animals; in one area, thousands of strips of fiberglass create a fantasy undersea theme complete with walk-through whale.

 


 

There’s a circus school and a shoelace factory, a repository of bits of demolished St. Louis buildings and the world’s largest pencil, plus my personal favorite: the world’s largest pair of men’s underpants.

Atop the building is an acrophobe’s nightmare where, high above the street, kids (and grannies) climb and crawl through wire passageways. Remnants of two airplanes provide more crannies to check out. It’s like a giant salvage yard topped with a Ferris wheel.

Why would they give such an amazing place such a mundane name? It must have been because Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was already taken.

 

 

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September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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