Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Oklahoma Contemporary wins $25,000 NEA grant for Ed Ruscha exhibition

June 10, 2020

Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OC_NEAaward

Ruscha Trademark 1962 web res
Ed Ruscha. Trademark, 1962.

Ed Ruscha: OKLA to be artist’s first solo show in home state

Oklahoma Contemporary is excited to announce a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the upcoming Ed Ruscha: OKLA exhibition. NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for FY20.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” Carter said. “We celebrate organizations like Oklahoma Contemporary for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

In spring 2021, Oklahoma Contemporary will present Ed Ruscha: OKLA, a landmark survey of work by Oklahoma-raised, world-renowned artist Ed Ruscha, his first-ever solo exhibition in his home state. Focusing on his groundbreaking drawings, prints, books, photos, films and graphic design, the exhibition will include works from all stages of his 60-year career.

At age 18, the artist made an epic road trip from Oklahoma to Los Angeles to begin his artistic career. He has since claimed, in many interviews, that everything he has done since was already part of him when he was 18. Ed Ruscha: OKLA considers the artist’s roots in Oklahoma, and the ways in which the visual culture and language of his upbringing have provided artistic fodder throughout his career.

“The NEA Art Works grant in support of Ed Ruscha: OKLA represents an important step in Oklahoma Contemporary’s evolution,” said Artistic Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “OKLA is not only the first solo show of Ed Ruscha’s work in Oklahoma, it is the first to have an Oklahoma focus. This award and recognition by the NEA will help us tell this important part of the artist’s story.”

Oklahoma Contemporary was among five state organizations that received grants in this round. Others include Oklahoma Arts Council, the Gilcrease Museum, ahha Tulsa and Greatest Stories Never Told. For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.


A media kit featuring photos of the artist and the work above can be found at bit.ly/OC_NEAaward. Interviews with Oklahoma Contemporary staff can be organized through Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.

Image: Ed Ruscha. Trademark, 1962. Oil, ink, tape on paper. UBS Art Collection ©Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

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