Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary
An angular, metal building with large windows is illuminated by red and blue lights

New Light

May 24, 2023

Party with a Purpose: Exceptional Art with a Side of Support

ArtNow opening celebrations champion contemporary visions

A painting with rolling green and yellow hills and a blooming sky of pinks, purples, blues and oranges swirl around. In the upper right corner in white letters it reads ArtNow The Soul Is a Wanderer
Moira RedCorn's Ma^zha^ tseka Ma^thi^ (Moving to a New Country) (2022)

When they say it takes a village? We live it. As a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, Oklahoma Contemporary relies on its community for support, conceptually and financially. While we uplift local and far-flung artists alike through free public programs and exhibitions, we are simultaneously carried by supporters and donors. We couldn’t do this work without them. Because of donations, sponsorships and grants alike, we are able to keep our exhibitions free of charge, year-round. One easy way to show your support (and have a great time)? Join us at the upcoming opening celebrations for ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer.

“Over more than three decades, ArtNow has evolved from a beloved community event featuring local artists to a major biennial exhibition focusing on new work spanning multiple disciplines by Oklahoma’s leading contemporary artists," says Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. "The event provides our supporters a first look at the next ArtNow and a chance to meet the artists, all while helping to advance our mission to make art accessible to everyone in our community.”

A black and white photo shows hands clasping the back of a head against a gray background.
Joseph Rushmore's Prosperity in No Known Place (2023)

ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer provides a snapshot of the visual arts created in Oklahoma today, featuring works from 13 Oklahoma-connected artists, including sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, painting, performance and video. Learn more about exhibition’s poetic inspiration, its artists and its guest curator, Lindsay Aveilhé, here. And be among the first to see it on June 22. All proceeds from the event directly support our mission.

“Designed for seasoned contemporary art collectors and enthusiasts alike, ArtNow: Party With a Purpose is a chance for our community to celebrate artists living and working in our state, while ensuring the arts remain accessible for all,” says Chief Development Officer Trent Riley.

A large group of people gather in a bright space with mirrors along one wall. Everyone is dressed in cocktail attire. There is a light pink and green glow along the back walls.

Tastemakers and trendsetters can gather for an exciting evening of contemporary art, cocktails and special performances. Guests can experience the ArtNow party in three different ways. The 21+ Party with a Purpose begins at 6 p.m., with both general admission and exclusive VIP access. Besides being the first visitors in the ArtNow gallery, guests can meet many of the artists. They can also catch the one-night-only performance of Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy by on-view artist Ashanti Chaplin and collaborator Gabriel Royal. They’ll also enjoy an open bar (including craft cocktails from WanderFolk Spirits and LALO Tequila), passed hors d’oeuvres and entry into the late-night hang and third experience of the evening.

Hosted by The Garde, ArtNow: Late Night on the Terrace will begin at 9 p.m., and include “the debut of an Oklahoma Contemporary-inspired beer from Vanessa House Beer Company,” says Riley, plus wine, light bites and all the dancing partiers can manage. Our outdoor terrace and North Lawn will be illuminated with lights, community and groovy tunes, giving guests an after-hours vibe of their arts center.

People sit and gather on the terrace of a metal building that is illuminated with red and blue lights.

ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer navigates the landscape of Oklahoma as a site for questioning, dreaming and action. We invite you to engage with those same themes, at the party and during the exhibition’s run: question steps for the future, dream of the possibilities and take action in bringing that vision into fruition.

“As philosopher Marshall McLuhan said, ‘I think of art, at its most significant, as … a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it,’” says curator Aveilhé. “The wandering soul can be seen as a metaphor for our seeking selves, and the artworks in this exhibition not only call our attention to pressing issues of our time, but also give us a few strategies for how best to navigate these passages from the past to the future.“

Join us for the opening celebrations of ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer. Experience the evening your way at your arts center.


Oklahoma Contemporary lit up during an event. Photo: AJ Stegall.

Moira RedCorn's Ma^zha^ tseka Ma^thi^ (Moving to a New Country) (2022). Oil on canvas. 60 x 84 in.

Joseph Rushmore, Prosperity in No Known Place, 2023. Inkjet print. 8 x 10 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Guests gather in the dance studio. Photo: AJ Stegall.

Guests gather on the terrace during an exhibition opening. Photo: AJ Stegall.

Tags tags
party exhibition opening ArtNow fundraiser Oklahoma artists celebration

Return to New Light.


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

Newsletter Signup

Join our mailing list to learn about our events, exhibitions, education and more.