Tulsa's Local Arts Scene

Our two guests on ST are the architects who will design the forthcoming Bob Dylan Center, which will be the "public face" of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archives -- and which is slated to open in 2021 at the corner of MLK Blvd. and Archer Street. After a far-reaching, international competition, architect Tom Kundig (of the well-regarded, Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig) was chosen by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to design this exciting new public venue. Along with Mr.

Our guest is Ken Tracy, the executive director of the non-profit Choregus Productions, which has been bringing world-class contemporary dance to Tulsa for several years now. Choregus will soon present its third annual Summer Heat International Dance Festival, beginning on Saturday night, the 28th, with a performance at the Tulsa PAC by Doug Varone and Dancers -- to be immediately followed by a gala opening reception. Then Beijing Dance Theater (shown above) will perform on Sunday afternoon, the 29th.

On this edition of ST, we speak once again with Michael Chaiken, the curator of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archive, which is currently located at the University of Tulsa's Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum, and which houses some 6,000 items related to Dylan's life and career in music -- nearly six decades of writings, recordings, memorabilia, film, and more. This facility is meant for researchers and scholars; it is not open to the public.

The long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (or OKPOP) is our topic on today's StudioTulsa. The design of the downtown Tulsa building that will house this museum has jus been announced. The structure will be on Main Street, across the street from the Cain's Ballroom, with construction to begin in the fall of this year.

Photo by Valery Lyman

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that first aired in May with the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show -- which actually closes today, the 12th -- aims to travel, per the Living Arts website, "through the American psyche and landscape....

Our guest is Clark Wiens, the president and co-founder of the non-profit Circle Cinema (which is located near the corner of Lewis and Admiral). This much-loved Tulsa landmark -- at once historic, unique, and irreplacable; a cultural lifeline as well as a crucial part of the our city's artistic community -- will soon turn 90 years old. Therefore, as Clark tells us, this special venue will soon host -- from July 7th through the 15th -- the Circle Cinema Film Festival and 90th Birthday Celebration.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based playwright Ilan Kozlowski, whose two-act dramatic comedy, "Shades of White" will be staged at the Tulsa PAC on June 22nd and 23rd. As noted of this work at the Tulsa PAC website: "Set in Tulsa in 1996 -- the 75th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- [this play] explores the relationships between an Israeli immigrant and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and their wives. Narrow-minded Dr. Whitehill and his crone of a wife, Birdie, are set in their miserable ways until Dr.

Photo by Valery Lyman

Our guest is the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who now has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show, per the Living Arts website, aims to travel "through the American psyche and landscape. Documentary artist Valery Lyman has been photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota over the course of five years, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the substantial migration that went along with it.

On this edition of ST, with the long-running,multifaceted, and decidedly unorthodox "Museum Confidential" exhibit about to close (on Sunday the 6th) at Philbrook Museum of Art, we present another installment in the Museum Confidential Podcast series. Co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook and our own Scott Gregory, this podcast has been posting twice-monthly since the exhibition opened at the museum back in October.

Photo by Don Thompson

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the noted photographer Don Thompson, who's been documenting the people and places of north Tulsa for more than 40 years now. His photos have been shown at local galleries, are on permanent display at OSU-Tulsa, and were recently added to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa will now be known as AHHA Tulsa. As per the AHHA website: "The organization's Board of Directors voted recently to change the name to something modern that encompasses the organization's mission to cultivate creativity in Tulsa, while also honoring its decades-long history.

On this edition of ST, we learn about "Four Chords and a Gun," a newly created non-musical play that looks at the iconic punk band known as The Ramones -- and in particular, at their efforts to record an album with the eccentric yet legendary music producer, Phil Spector. The play was written by John Ross Bowie, an actor best known for his roles on TV's "Speechless" and "The Big Bang Theory." As we learn on today's show, "Four Chords and a Gun" focuses on the years 1979 and 1980, when The Ramones stood on the very edge of breaking into stardom.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about "NEW/NOW: Works by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship," the first-ever museum exhibit dedicated to artworks by fellows in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship program. This show, on view at the Philbrook Downtown space through March 3rd, presents various media and styles in newly created pieces by 20+ artists working here in the Tulsa community.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to our conversation from September with Jared Johnson, who's a fine drummer on the Tulsa-area music circuit as well as a drumset instructor at Northeastern State University. Jared gigs widely on the local scene, playing in all sorts of bands and musical settings, and mainly works as a jazz drummer.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the locally based poet, poetry teacher, and literary activist, Victoria McArtor. She tells us about her new book, "Reverse Selfie," which is a collection of poems written in response to -- or in conversation with, or in tribute to -- various Tulsa landmarks. This book, which actually began as a write-one-poem-every-day-for-a-month project back in 2015, also features striking photographs by Matthew Phipps, thereby capturing in both words and images the vitality, beauty, wonder, and strangeness of the City of Tulsa.

On this edition of our show, we listen back to our special conversation from early June with the highly regarded photographer David Halpern, who was for many years based in Tulsa and now resides in Santa Fe. "The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern" will be on view at the Gilcrease Museum through the end of 2017. (Note that you can access a free, on-demand audio-stream of our conversation here.)

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to present the first episode of Museum Confidential: The Podcast, a bi-weekly endeavor which Public Radio Tulsa has been co-creating with Philbrook Musueum of Art since mid-October. Hosted by Jeff Martin of Philbrook and edited and produced by our own Scott Gregory, this podcast is an extension of the popular "Museum Confidential" exhibit now on view at Philbrook, which will run through early May of 2018. Both the podcast and the exhibit, as we learn today, explore in various ways what goes on "behind the scenes" at a given museum.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Joseph Baldassare, a music producer and promoter who also oversees Arthouse 18, an organization that sets up photography exhibitions and sells high-quality prints at such exhibitions. Baldassare has just brought two closely-related photo exhibits to Tulsa, both of which will be on view at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education throughout December.

"To have great poets," as Walt Whitman once noted, "there must also be great audiences." And great cities, it would seem, likewise require great bookstores. On this edition of ST, we learn all about Magic City Books -- an indie bookstore owned and operated by the non-profit Tulsa Literary Coalition (or TLC) -- which will soon, at long last, open for business in downtown Tulsa. Indeed, after a series of construction-related delays, Magic City Books will open on Monday the 20th at 9pm...with Mayor G.T.

On this edition of our show, we learn about the next concert to be staged by the Signature Symphony at TCC, "Yevtushenko and Shostakovich," which will happen on Saturday night, the 4th, at 7:30pm (at the Van Trease PACE on East 81st Street). This concert will honor the life and work of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the late poet and author who died earlier this year, and who taught at the University of Tulsa and contributed to our city's cultural life over the last 30 years.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Rachel Keith, the Director of Collections and Exhibitions at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. She tells us about the newly-opened and totally original exhibition, "Museum Confidential," which will be on view at Philbrook through early May of next year. As noted of this show at the Philbrook website: "Visitors [to Philbrook] often ask what goes on behind-the-scenes.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Andrew Grams, who will be the Guest Conductor for the next Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert, happening tomorrow night, Saturday the 28th, at the Tulsa PAC. It'll be a special evening featuring Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No.6," "Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber," and Copland's "Quiet City." The last-named piece will highlight both Celeste Frehner (English Horn) and Tim McFadden (Trumpet).

The 2017 Tulsa American Film Festival, or TAFF, showcasing indie features and shorts from across the United States -- with a focus on local, classic, student, Native American, and Okie-rooted films -- continues here in T-Town at several different venues. Tonight, the 13th, the TAFF will present the Oklahoma Premiere of a new documentary film about the life and work of Wilma Mankiller, who in 1985 was the first woman elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about the work of Kay WalkingStick, a widely celebrated American landscape artist who once referred to herself as "a New York painter and a Cherokee woman." Now 82, and equally (and impressively) adept in both abstract and representational styles, WalkingStick is the subject of a newly opened retrospective exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa.

On this edition of our show, we learn about "Eloquent Craftsman: Tom Manhart and His Students," a new exhibition focusing on the artwork and teaching career of Thomas A. Manhart, a thoughtful and influential sculptor who was a much-admired professor of art at TU from 1963 to 1993.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting chat with the locally based filmmaker James Payne. His new movie, a feature-length, award-winning documentary called "Far Western," will have its Tulsa debut screening at the Circle Cinema on Thursday the 5th at 7pm.

On this episode of ST, we welcome Jared Johnson to the show. He's an active drummer on the Tulsa-area music scene as well as a drumset instructor at Northeastern State University. Jared gigs widely on the local scene, playing in all sorts of bands and musical settings, and mainly works as a jazz drummer.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with the USSR-born writer Anna Badkhen, whose well-regarded books of nonfiction include "Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah," "The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village," and "Waiting for the Taliban: A Journey Through Northern Afghanistan." She's written about wars and warfare -- and about living with warfare -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak once again with Scott Stulen, the President and Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art. At a press conference earlier today, Stulen announced a number of exciting changes in store for Philbrook, which will take effect very soon.

The "Oh, Tulsa!" Biennial -- a "best of" group show that aims to gather and present many outstanding works by Tulsa-based visual artists -- opened recently at the Living Arts Gallery in Tulsa's Brady Arts District. Our guest on ST is the guest curator for this show, Dr. Kirsten Olds, who is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Tulsa. "Oh, Tulsa!" will be on view through August 25th, and you can learn more about it at this link.

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