Tulsa's Local Arts Scene

Photo via signaturesymphony.org

Our guest is the acclaimed Chickasaw classical composer, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. He's known for blending Chickasaw and other Native American elements with European musical instruments to create compositions that've been performed by the likes of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and others. Tate will be the focus of the next Signature Symphony chamber music concert, happening in-person on Saturday the 16th at the VanTrease PACE on the TCC Southeast Campus.

Photo via Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 9th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will begin its new season with a concert beginning at 8pm in the Tulsa PAC. It'll be the first time the TSO has performed in this space with an audience since the pandemic began (and masks as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccination -- or else proof of a negative COVID-19 test result -- will be required for entry). The evening will feature Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade, Liszt's Les Preludes, and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.

Photo via WoodViolins.com

On this edition of ST, we meet the rock/classical/crossover electric violinist, Mark Wood, who will perform with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra on Saturday the 9th, beginning at 7:30pm.

"The Outsiders" -- both the well-known coming-of-age novel by S.E. Hinton and the likewise-titled 1983 film by Francis Ford Coppola -- certainly looms large in the cultural history of this community. On today's edition of StudioTulsa, we meet the California-based, Oklahoma-born grade school librarian who, back in 1980, encouraged her students to create a petition asking Coppola to make the film. Yes, this is really how "The Outsiders" got on the path from beloved young-adult book to cult-classic movie. That librarian is Jo Ellen Misakian.

Our guest is Joseph Arndt, who's been the music director at Saint John's Episcopal Church here in Tulsa since 2015. Arndt received his M.M. from The Juilliard School and his B.M. from Westminster Choir College in organ performance. Shortly after arriving in Tulsa, he founded the popular Music at Midday series at Saint John's, which he tells us about. The 7th season of Music at Midday gets underway tomorrow (Wednesday the 22nd, at noon) with a performance by Barron Ryan, the Tulsa-based classical/jazz/crossover pianist.

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the artistic director of Tulsa Ballet. The company will present its annual "Creations in Studio K" program -- which is devoted, as ever, to new works only -- through September 19th; the Studio K space is located at 1212 East 45th Place in Tulsa. This year's rundown includes world premieres from both Yury Yanowsky and Katarzyna Kozielska, as Angelini tells us. Also on the bill is a performance from TBII, which is the second company of Tulsa Ballet. They're offering a world premiere by the award-winning choreographer Stephanie Martinez.

On this edition of ST, we speak with our friend and former colleague, Steve Clem, who recently retired from Public Radio Tulsa, and Maggie Brown, a curator at the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. They're the co-authors of "Tulsa Movie Theaters," a book of photographs just now appearing in the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing.

On this edition of ST, we discuss the Play Tulsa Music program, an initiative of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (a/k/a Tulsa FMAC). Play Tulsa Music was first launched in September of last year as a pandemic-rooted economic recovery effort made possible by Tulsa County CARES Act funding. More than $190,000 was distributed in 2020 to 26 venues throughout Tulsa County, thereby helping to support 700+ local performances.

On this edition of our program, we learn about the 2021 Art 365 program from the nonprofit Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC). The artists whose work appears in this very competitive year-long program were chosen by guest curator, Grace Deveney, the associate curator of Prospect.5 in New Orleans. She's our guest today, along with Alexa Goetzinger, the associate director of OVAC. The artists selected for this year's OVAC 365 exhibit are Ginnie Baer (Edmond), Crystal Z.

Photo Credit: Jae Man Joo

From tonight (the 17th) through Saturday night (the 19th), Choregus Productions will present its 2021 Summer Heat International Dance Festival. Three world-class companies will perform at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center; more details on the festival, including how to get tickets, are here. Our guest on ST is the choreographer Dwight Rhoden, whose NYC-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet is a company known for its groundbreaking combination of methods, styles, and cultures.

On this edition of ST, we look into the upcoming Tulsa Chautauqua 2021, a virtual festival happening next week (June 8th through the 12th) on the theme of "20th Century Visionaries: Catalysts for Change." For this series of events -- which will be presented this year in an online-only format -- five different scholar/performers will offer entertaining and educational presentations and workshops on the lives of Gene Rodenberry, Gertrude Bell, Marshall McLuhan, Marie Curie, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based pianist and composer, Barron Ryan, who tells us about his new piano trio, "My Soul is Full of Troubles." Written for piano, violin, and cello -- and commissioned by Chamber Music Tulsa on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- the work will have its world premiere on June 3rd at the Greenwood Cultural Center at 7pm. A second performance will be given on June 4th at noon at St. John's Episcopal Church, and this additional presentation will moreover be offered as a free Facebook livestream.

Our guests on StudioTulsa are the Tulsa-based artists, community advocates, and avid cyclists Shane Darwent and Kolby Ari. They are the co-presenters of Cycling the Gap, a three-part series of guided, community-minded bike rides here in Tulsa that will take place on May 1st, 8th, and 15th. The ride scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday the 1st) will focus on Sustainability. The following two rides -- happening on the following two Saturdays -- will look at matters of Infrastructure and Black Art & Commerce.

Our guest on ST is Susan Neal, the Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum and the Helmerich Center for American Research here in Tulsa. Gilcrease Museum, as was recently announced, will be closing its doors at the end of its business day on July 4th. The museum's current structure will then be demolished, with construction of a new museum (on the same site) to follow. As Neal explains, construction of the new museum facility will begin in early 2022 and is expected to take 2 or 3 years. (More details are posted here.)

Photo by Jeremy Charles

We're glad to welcome back to our program the Tulsa-based guitarist, composer, and music producer Chris Combs, who's known for his work with COMBSY, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, and other jazz/experimental/multi-genre outfits. Combs tells us about (and shares tracks from) his forthcoming album, "Roche Blave: Large Ensemble Works Recorded Live in Switzerland," which will be released by the nonprofit Horton Records on April 30th.

(Note: This interview originally aired last summer.) We're pleased to welcome our friend John Wooley back to StudioTulsa. A longtime Tulsa-based music and pop-culture writer -- and the host, of course, of the popular Swing on This program, heard every Saturday night here on KWGS -- Wooley is the co-author, along with Brett Bingham, of a new book about the historic Cain's Ballroom.

Serae Avance (American, b. 1993). Knowledge and Struggle, 2021. Digital pigment print. Courtesy of the artist. Copyright Serae Avance.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a show that recently opened at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. "From the Limitations of Now" will be on view through September 5th.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Carolyn Sickles, the Executive Director of Tulsa Artist Fellowship, or TAF, which is an arts-and-community-focused project of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The TAF recently announced that it has given 22 of its fellows an Arts Integration Award for 2020-2021, which is meant to help these artists further their involvement with (and presence within) the Tulsa community via new works, new series, and so on. The award includes a $25,000 stipend, $10,000 in project resources, and also free living and work spaces.

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director of Tulsa Ballet. From March 5th through the 14th, the company will once again offer a Signature Series at Studio K three-part program (which will be accessible in both online/streamable presentations as well as in-person/socially-distanced shows at the Studio K performance space in Tulsa's Brookside neighborhood). The series will include two newly-made World Premieres and a piece that was created just for Tulsa Ballet. These three ballets will be the work of choreographers Andrew McNicol, Yury Yanowsky, and Jennifer Archibald.

The poet Dick Gallup, who grew up in Tulsa and came to prominence in the New York City literary scene of the 1960s and '70s alongside his friends and fellow Tulsans Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, and Ted Berrigan, died last month at his home in San Francisco. He was 79. Gallup was a part of the so-called "New York School" of poets, publishing books of poetry and a play. He taught writing workshops, gave numerous readings, and taught poetry writing to schoolchildren in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based writer, creative writing teacher, playwright, and performer, Michael Wright. He's had an active, far-flung career in the dual worlds of literature and theatre. The author of novels, plays, poems, and varous performance-art and spoken-word experiments, Wright was also the 2010 Playwriting Teacher of the Year for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the winner of the Kennedy Center 2011 Milan Stitt Award for outstanding teaching and professional work in playwriting.

ARTWORK BY FRED VILLANUEVA (via ahhatulsa.org)

Our guest is the Dallas-based artist Fred Villanueva, whose exhibition titled "The Trayectorias" (or "the trajectory," or "the path") is on view at ahha in downtown Tulsa through February 21st. This show, per the ahha website, "presents past artistic explorations that Villanueva has re-mixed to create new paintings, drawings, and installations.

On this edition of ST, we chat with artist and Living Arts of Tulsa board member Tina Henley, who is the curator for an interesting group show now on view at Living Arts called "Project Hope, Unity, and Compassion." On view through the 22nd, it is a collection of large-scale artworks which were created on plywood last summer by various artists, and which were then used to cover store-fronts, windows, and buildings in advance of the Trump rally at the BOK Center.

Photo by Kim Matthai Leland - The Spectrum

On this edition of ST, we learn about the next Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert, which happens on Sunday afternoon (the 18th) at 3pm at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa. (At this concert, masks will be required to attend, and social distancing will be in effect.) The concert will feature Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio Overture, Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, and Brahms' Symphony No. 4 in E minor. Our guest will be the Guest Conductor for this concert, Sarah Hicks.

We are pleased to welcome Mark Dolph back to StudioTulsa. He's Curator of History at Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. He tells us about an exciting new exhibition at that museum presenting the work of Shan Goshorn, the late Tulsa-area artist.

Our guest is Christina Burke, the Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. She tells us about an exciting new show at the museum, "Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists," which is now on view for members only -- and which will open to the public on Wednesday the 7th. As noted the Philbrook website: "Women have long been the creative force behind Native art.

Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh

Update:  Statement from the University of Tulsa School of Art, Design, and Art History

The gallery is open to TU Students, Faculty, and Staff Only and is Not Open to the Public.

While we are not open to the public, please join us Thursdays in September at the University of Tulsa School of Art, Design, and Art History Facebook and Instagram pages for special virtual programs and highlights.  

On this edition of ST, we learn about a multi-artist, multi-media exhibition opening soon at Living Arts of Tulsa called "Speak: Speak While You Can." The show gathers works by several outstanding Native American artists, all of the creations focused on various indigenous/tribal langauges. Our guests are the co-curators of this show, both of them noted Native artists in their own right: Tony A. Tiger (Sac & Fox/Seminole/Muscogee) and Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee/Creek).

Our guest on ST is Brian Horton, president of the non-profit Horton Records, which is a Tulsa-based indie record label dedicated to documenting, promoting, and growing our local and regional music scene.

Image courtesy Andy Arkley.

On this edition of ST, we learn about THE EXPERIENCE: IMAGINE, which is a newly created group exhibition opening today (Friday the 7th) at ahha Tulsa. It's a rather Outer Space (or Sci-Fi, or Other Worldly) type of show that, per the ahha website, features "large-scale, semi-permanent, interactive art. When you visit THE EXPERIENCE: IMAGINE, you will explore zones designed and built by one of six Tulsa-based artists. Each has different interactive elements.

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