For years, the metro art scene has been a rising star in the Oklahoma City landscape, and it just keeps getting better.
Get a peek at the city’s top art galleries and museums, and plan your deep dive into OKC art.
50 Penn Place Gallery, 1900 NW Expressway, OKC
Located in the mall of the same name, the 50 Penn Place Gallery is owned by 12 professional artists whose works are also on display in the gallery, including pieces by Bert Seabourn, Connie Seabourn, Tim Sullivan and others. In addition to the work of the owner-artists, the gallery features pieces from guest artists, and at regularly scheduled art openings, the creators are present to present and talk about their work.
ARTSPACE at Untitled, 1 NE 3rd St., OKC
Laura Warriner took a chance on the old warehouse district downtown before most people were even aware of its potential. Located in Deep Deuce, the focus at ARTSPACE is contemporary art, but the purpose is to create a community space with quality exhibitions, educational programs, performances, publications and dialogues with the community.
DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., OKC
It’s celebrating 15 years in the Plaza District this year, and in that time the artists behind the space have featured new, established and emerging artists, welcomed the community to openings, exhibits and conversations and provided a space for local artists to display and sell their work. Some of OKC’s most popular local artists have started at DNA.
Exhibit C Gallery, 1 E Sheridan Ave., OKC
This Chickasaw-owned space in Bricktown is both gallery and retail space for First American artwork and artisan works such as jewelry, pottery and clothing, all made by Native American artists. It also offers a brokerage service to assist in locating traditional Native American art among its wide range of creators.
Factory Obscura Mix-Tape, 25 NW 9th St., OKC
The immersive art experience in the popular NW 9th Street area just off Automobile Alley was built and is operated by local artists, for an experience modeled on New Mexico’s Meow Wolf. Its new project, Synesthesia, will be at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman through June 4.
First Americans Museum, 659 First Americans Blvd., OKC
This decades-in-the-making project collects myths, artifacts, personal reflections, art and tributes to the 39 Native American Nations who are part of the museum’s grand narrative. Exhibit halls for all ages are on the grounds, as well as outdoor features, an excellent restaurant and guided tours.
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman
Located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, this is one of the finest university art museums in the country. The permanent collection of more than 20,000 objects features Native American art (4,500 objects), French impressionism and art of the American Southwest.
Howell Gallery of Fine Art, 6432 N. Western Ave., OKC
Near Nichols Hills on N. Western Avenue, it has been featuring local, regional and nationally recognized artists since 1991. The gallery houses a broad cross-section of media, including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, etc.
JRB at The Elms, 28100 N. Walker Ave., OKC
The artistic hub of the Paseo Arts District is the creation of Joy Reed Belt, whose lifelong dedication to the Paseo has kept it one of the city’s most beloved hyper-local districts. The roster of artists includes established and emerging professionals, and the gallery always participates in First Friday Art Walk.
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, 1900 W. MacArthur St., Shawnee
After St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee shuttered in 2017, Oklahoma Baptist University acquired the property and chose to keep the Mabee-Gerrer Museum open. Founded just over 100 years ago, the museum’s collections including artifacts from Egypt, Ancient Greece, Rome, East Asia, Oceania and Africa, as well visual arts from the Renaissance through the early 20th century.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr., OKC
Located in the heart of City Center, the OKCMOA is known primarily for its Dale Chihuly collection, including a stunning 55-foot sculpture that welcomes museum guests. In addition to Chihuly, the permanent collection includes works from the Colonial period to contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley.
Oklahoma Hall of Fame/Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen Dr., OKC
The Gaylord-Pickens Museum is one program within the lovely, stately facility on NW 13th and Shartel. In keeping with the vision of the Hall of Fame, the museum introduces visitors to famous Oklahomans from politics to pop culture via interactive exhibits. The museum is designed to be educational and entertaining for all ages.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N. Harvey Ave., OKC
Documenting the events and commemorating the victims, first responders, families and all those affected by the horrific Murrah Building Bombing of April 19, 1995, is the mission of this stunning museum and memorial. The interactive museum is a walkthrough of the details surrounding the heinous act, the heroic efforts to rescue survivors and the story of the city’s drive to rebuild in the wake of disaster.
Oklahoma Contemporary, 11 NW 11th St., OKC
Its new $30 million home on the north end of Automobile Alley is itself a work of art, catching the morning and evening sun on its metal exterior. Contemporary art is displayed inside and out, and the space is designed to be an interactive, educational community. Café Contemporary inside the center is a popular downtown eatery, with vegan, vegetarian and omnivore options.
Oklahoma History Museum, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., OKC
The official caretakers of Oklahoma’s past, including artifacts, interactive components, testimonies, narratives, arts, etc., the museum tells the story of Oklahoma and Oklahomans in a collection of galleries and exhibits. Areas covered include topics as diverse as Oklahomans in space, the African American experience, free enterprise in the state and the stories of our Indigenous peoples.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., OKC
The museum is often referred to as “The Cowboy Hall of Fame” among locals, and while it is a hall of fame for professional cowboys, it’s also home to stunning artwork by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, as well as important collections of Native American art and artifacts. One current exhibit — Playing Cowboy — focuses on books, games, toys, television and movies that targeted kids with the allure of the Old West.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman
Located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, the Sam Noble has been entertaining and informing visitors since before statehood. The museum is divided into categories — dinosaurs are in the Hall of Ancient Life — to make planning easier. Permanent and traveling exhibits include collections related to arts, culture, indigenous peoples, energy and natural wonders.
Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Pl., OKC
This 400,000-square-foot, interactive science museum is one of the largest of its kind, and it’s been a favorite field trip destination for generations of Oklahomans. The Science Floor is where most of the fun occurs, with its hundreds of interactive, educational displays, but there is more exploring to be done in additional galleries and the Kirkpatrick Planetarium.