Tulsa's Local Arts Scene

Our guest is Tim Sharp, who has for several years now served as both Artistic Director and Conductor of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus. He tells us about the newest TOC concert, "Russian Choral Classics," which will happen on Friday night (the 14th) at 7:30pm in Holy Family Cathedral (in downtown Tulsa). The evening will offer a cappella choral works -- both sacred and secular -- by Chesnokov, Grechaninov, Rachmaninov, and others. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please go here.

Our guest on ST is the locally based photographer and writer, Rhys Martin, who joins us to discuss his new book: "Lost Restaurants of Tulsa." The book is just out, and it reveals the histories of dozens of restaurants from T-Town's past -- family sagas, culinary wonders, beloved diners, edge-of-town favorites, popular hang-outs, and more. It's a book that's sure to appeal to those who can lip-smackingly recall the likes of Pennington's, Shotgun Sam's, Villa Venice, The Golden Drumstick, The Razor Clam, St. Michael's Alley, The Louisiane, et al.

Photo by Steve Clem

The Sand Springs Cultural & Historical Museum is presenting the artwork of the late Louisiana Cajun painter, George Rodrigue. Rodrigue is best known for his "blue dog" paintings, which he created over the last two decades of his life, but throughout his career, he painted numerous images depicting the people and places of his south Louisiana home. 

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Ricco Wright, who owns and operates the nonprofit Black Wall Street Gallery, a recently created art space on Greenwood Avenue. After Wright graduated from Union High School, he studied mathematics as a Bill Gates Scholar at Langston University. Thereafter he earned a doctorate in math at Columbia University, after which he lived and worked in New York City for a decade. As Wright tells us, his own passion for the arts -- visual, musical, verbal, and otherwise -- flourished considerably while he was based in NYC.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're pleased to present another installment in our twice-monthly Museum Confidential podcast series (which is co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum and Scott Gregory of Public Radio Tulsa). This time around, MC chats with Bob Dylan Archive curator Michael Chaiken, who's based in both Brooklyn and Tulsa. He tells us how they're pretty much trying NOT to make a museum with the forthcoming Bob Dylan Center (to open in downtown Tulsa in 2021). At least, not a "museum" in the traditional sense of the term.

Originally formed at The Juilliard School, Tesla Quartet won 2nd Prize at the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2016. And their very first CD is just being released this month. Chamber Music Tulsa is pleased to bring this special collective back to our community; they were last in town in 2013. Tesla will offer a pair of exciting concerts this weekend: tonight (the 12th) at the Renaissance Square Event Center on 11th Street, and then Sunday afternoon (the 14th) at the Williams Theatre in the Tulsa PAC.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a remarkable and newly launched exhibit at Gilcrease, "Americans All!" This show, which is ongoing, is (per the Gilcrease website) the museum's "latest exhibition drawn from [its] permanent collection...[and it] showcases the many positive contributions immigrants have made, and continue to make, to American life and culture.

On this edition of our show, we chat with Emily Zilber. A former curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and currently the editor of Metalsmith magazine, Zilber is now in Tulsa to serve as the curator for VisionMakers 2018 at 108 Contemporary. This show, which is the gallery's juried biennial exhibition, features the work of contemporary craft-based artists from a multi-state region, all of whom combine cutting-edge concepts with traditional skills in order to push the boundaries of art, craft, and design.

Tulsa Ballet will begin a new season tomorrow night (Friday the 14th) with the return of its long-running "Creations in Studio K" annual presentation. This time out, the three-part "Creations" evening includes a first-time-ever collaboration between Tulsa Ballet and Philbrook Museum of Art -- i.e., a work entitled "Pentaptych." Our guests today, choreographer Ma Cong and artist Eric Sall, tell us all about this special dance-meets-painting endeavor: how it came about, how it was developed and refined, and how it will unfold onstage.

Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College is now celebrating, with the arrival of its 2018-19 season of concerts, forty years of entertaining Tulsa-area audiences. Our guest is Andres Franco, the Music Director for Signature Symphony, who also serves as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Caminos del Inka. As Mr.

Photo by Ivan Caro

On this installment of ST, we offer a far-reaching discussion with the recently named Director of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Carolyn Sickles. She's worked as an artist, independent curator, educator, and arts administrator in her career thus far, and prior to arriving in Tulsa (earlier this summer) she was the Director of Visual Arts and Engagement at Abrons Arts Center on New York City's Lower East Side.

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.

Photo by John Cohen / Bob Dylan in 1962

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.

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