Art Galleries, Museums Join Forces for `Art around Town'

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You don't have to go to New York to "gallery hop," which is what they call an evening of visiting art galleries.

Oklahoma City has a slew of art galleries and museums which are joining to participate in a gallery hop, or as it's being called, "Art About Town."

On Friday, May 20, several Oklahoma City galleries, museums and artists' studios will join with local performing arts organizations to create an evening of visual and aural pleasures. The arts tour can begin at the Fairgrounds at City Arts Center and Oklahoma City Art Museum, or it can begin downtown at Oklahoma City Art Museum at ArtsPlace, 20 W. Main St. In between these two galleries are Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) in French Market Mall, 2850 NW 63rd St.; Kirkpatrick Center, 21 NE 52nd St.; Norick Art Center/Hulsey Gallery on the Oklahoma City University campus, 2501 N. Blackwelder; and The Paseo Artists Association in the Paseo Community Center, 2909 The Paseo.

Collaborations VII, a juried exhibition of works by artists collaborating with other artists, is at ArtsPlace, which exhibits, sells and rents art by local and regional artists and crafts people. ArtsPlace also offers tours of downtown and scheduled classes. Providing laughter and craziness will be the improvisational team Funny Floats.

In historic Paseo Village, home to more than 25 artists and their studios, artists such as B.J. White, Donna Berryhill and Mike Larsen will open their studios to the public. For entertainment, StarDanceSwan, a dance theater troup made up of children and adults, will offer contemporary dance works on the Paseo streets.

At the Norick Center, which emphasizes education in the arts, members of the OCU School of Music will be performing, and paintings by White and Suzanne Randall will be on display.

Recent works by Shelby Stone will be featured in the Kirkpatrick Gallery for Oklahoma Artists. Visitors also may view the Oklahoma State Art Collection, which includes works by artists who are native to Oklahoma or who have lived and worked in the state. Throughout the evening, Prairie Dance Theatre, housed at Kirkpatrick Center, will perform short segments of modern dance theatre.

At IAO, an alternative gallery which showcases contemporary art in all media, will offer works by Rom Barczak and John Brandenberg. Visual performances also will be presented.

An exhibit titled "Four Friends" will be featured at OCAM at the Fairgrounds, where the entertainment will be provided by Wendy Ooley, creator of Garage Sale Theatre and a one-woman song, dance and drama performer. OCAM has more than 3,000 works of 19th and 20th century art, which includes the Washington Gallery of Modern Art Collection, a focus on contemporary American art of the 1950s and 1960s.

City Arts Center has an exhibit called "Works on Paper: Selections from the Kolodzei Collection of Contemporary Russian Art. Oklahoma Children's Theatre will perform excerpts from "The Snow Queen" throughout the evening.

All of the galleries and studios will be open free of charge to the public. Gallery hoppers may register at each location for free gifts from local merchants. A grand prize awaits one of the gallery goers who makes it to all of the facilities.

What a wonderful evening of visual and performing arts. And right here in Oklahoma City! ! ! And, speaking of the arts, the 20th annual May Fair Arts Festival is due at Norman's Reeves Park on Saturday. The day of art, family fun, entertainment, children's crafts and tasty treats is a project of the Assistance League of Norman.

More than 140 artists and crafts people from Oklahoma and the region will be on hand from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. to display and sell their wares. The scheduled entertainment begins promptly at 10 a.m. and ranges from jazz to tap dancers and cloggers to the Norman Choral Society singers. …