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Posted inArt

This Museum Kills Fascists

OKLAHOMA CITY — Is this land really made for you and me? That was the original tone of doubt at the end of Woody Guthrie’s classic folk anthem “This Land Is Your Land,” and now anyone can see its original lyrics exhibited below a halo of illuminated guitars in the new Woody Guthrie Center.

Posted inArt

Finding Hidden Stories in Tombstone Art

OKLAHOMA CITY — Military cemeteries seem incredibly uniform with the simple headstones showing little more than rank, name, the dates of life, and a symbol of religion. Yet there are still some hidden messages in the stones. This is especially true in a place like Fort Sill, where Buffalo Soldiers, American Indian POWs, and Army soldiers going back to the 19th century are buried.

Posted inArt

The Cubist Cowboy Rodeo

OKLAHOMA CITY — Both Cubism and the cowboy rodeo rose to prominence in the early 20th century, and their wrangling of energy into one clashing place is a shared kinetic spirit. Yet Wayne White’s massive mechanical puppets may be the first art to really embrace their kindred energy.

Posted inArt

The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Talks About the Womb, Damien Hirst, Acid, and Yoko Ono

“I’m mostly a visual artist, I think,” Wayne Coyne told me in a recent phone conversation. That the frontman of The Flaming Lips, one of the biggest experimental rock groups out there, sees himself as a visual creator more than a musician is not too surprising. This is after all the band that’s landed a UFO on stage, made one of the weirdest cosmic horror holiday films of all time with Christmas on Mars, and regularly starts its concerts in a flurry of confetti with Coyne himself rolling in a hamster ball over the crowd. (And it’s not only their recent work, just look at this concert video from 1996 of “Abandoned Hospital Ships” and watch the swirling DIY light installation pulse on with the crescendo.)

Posted inArt

Space-Age Architecture in an Unexpected Place

Like ghosts of a future that never arrived, the United States is littered with space age relics that landed in the 1940s to 1960s in the form of diners, banks, motels, and other commercial architecture. While the futuristic style definitely made its mark on the big coastal cities, like with Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center in New York and Los Angeles International Airport’s Theme Building, it was also popular in a much more unexpected locale: on the Mars-like red earth of Oklahoma. Despite being a rather conservative place, the state fostered some pretty wild architecture, and you can still see its remnants as quiet oddities in the cityscapes. Oklahoma City especially has wonderful examples of this retrofuture trend, known as “Googie” architecture.

Posted inArt

Oklahoma Zoo Transforms Their Animals into Artists

Sure, humans tend to be the most dexterous of the animals, with their fancy thumbs and articulated motor skills, but can any people artists be as adorable as Speedy the three-banded armadillo? Unlikely. The South American mammal, whose defining skill is curling into a ball, is one of the many creatures creating art at the Oklahoma City Zoo as part of their “Art Gone Wild” program that uses painting as an avenue of animal engagement.