Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary's Art Garden
A raised-bed garden, with metal sides and filled with flowers and plants, stands in a lawn in front of a building made from shipping containers

New Light

June 08, 2021

Inspired, Naturally

From Oklahoma's famous red dirt and summer sunshine to leaves from teas and trees, June's Second Saturday, inspired by our new Art Garden, puts Mother Nature first.
An adult and a child sit in the grass while working on an art project with beads
Second Saturday's family festivals always feature a variety of art-making projects for all ages.

Take a look at what’s growing in Oklahoma Contemporary’s new Art Garden during our June Second Saturday!

Our new Art Garden, planted just south of our main building, provides a space to grow and nurture plants for use as accessible art material across a multitude of mediums, like natural dyeing and papermaking. The garden will also serve as a haven for native species, pollinators and humans alike. This month, the Art Garden is inspiration for an afternoon of outdoor activities designed with nature in mind.

Join us 12-3 p.m. this Saturday as Studio School instructor Rachel Denbow demonstrates how to dye fabrics with natural materials like flowers, beets and Oklahoma’s famous red dirt. Artists of all ages can get hands-on to learn natural paper dip dyeing – what colors might avocados or tea produce?

A dark red flower with a yellow center blooms amid green spiky stems and leaves
Leaves, flowers and even roots from the Art Garden will be used in future Studio School classes and educational programs.

The family can also create nature-inspired sun prints: Layer leaves and other elements atop photo-sensitive paper, leave them in the sun and voila! Fun designs appear. Give them a quick dip, and then hang them on our clothesline to dry.

Want to get even closer to nature? Examine flowers or leaves under a microscope, then draw what you see.

“Nature can play such a big role in art, especially at younger ages,” says Christine Gibson, manager of Youth and Family Programs. “We want to show our visitors how to get inspired by natural patterns and create with anything under the sun.”

Over at our Studios building, a Studio School workshop will be working on an outdoor, traditional Raku-style ceramics firing. You can watch students and our staff at work or, for a small fee, join in on the fun by glazing a piece to fire and take home!

Reserve your free Second Saturday tickets here. Walk-ups admitted as space permits!

Adults: Want to dive a little deeper? Studio School has a four-week Natural Fiber Dyeing class and a Papermaking Basics single-day workshop.

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Second Saturday Art Garden youth programs outdoors art-making nature

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Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

see additional holidays


Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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