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Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Illuminations: Rediscovering the Art of Dale Chihuly (Oklahoma City Museum of Art)

This is a glass sculpture exhibit by Dale Chihuly, one of the most influential artists working in glass today. His sea forms and life-size purple reeds at the beginning of the exhibit give you the illusion that you are experiencing a taste of ocean life in Oklahoma.

Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Take a few steps further into the exhibition hall, and you happen upon a series of vibrant vases, made even more so by the carefully placed lights looming down from the ceiling. The darkness adds to the intensity of the exhibit. Turn another corner, and you are staring at a series of glass pastel ribbons that will remind you of that old fashioned Christmas candy that you ate straight from tin boxes. You will want to touch it!

Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Glass as fine art? Well, yeah. Art is what gives you pleasure as you gaze upon it. A lot of people are put off by the idea of visiting galleries and museums because they think they are intimidating or even too highbrow for their tastes. This exhibit is fun and accessible to all, including children. It is sure to entice those who are new to the art scene, as well as attract veteran visitors. My philosophy on appreciating art could be summed up by posing the following question: “Does it make you feel good? Then see more of it!”

You will enter a hallway to pass into the second half of the exhibit, and the ceiling of the hallway is lined with beautiful colored bowls. Um, can I get this for my house?!

Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Both children and adults (and quite possibly, yours truly) were seen spontaneously dropping to the floor so they could lie on their backs and gaze up at the ceiling. This is some of the best eye candy I have seen in a long time. The tickets should have come with a giant lollipop, and I mean that in the best possible way. This is art as an amusement park, and everyone was lapping it up.

Towards the end of the exhibit, the sense of whimsical magic continues. You are staring with your mouth gaping open at a boat that contains countless glass sculptures. It feels so sugary sweet, and Willy Wonka-ish, that you almost feel as though you are suffering from a sugar overdose. Yet your soul craves more sugar, evidence that you are becoming an addict. As you prepare to leave, part of you wonders what it would be like to just climb in the boat.

Dale Chihuly - Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dale Chihuly – Oklahoma City Museum of Art

A surprising stop in Oklahoma City.

As always, our travels are indexed within our “Play” Journal from Stealth Journals. The sample entry page is pictured below:

Stealth Journals
Oklahoma: Indexed in our Play Journal, by Stealth Journals.

Route 66 – Edmond, OK to Stroud, OK

I set off on Route 66 full of hope and promise, much like the original travelers must have felt. In my case, though, the first thing I saw was POPS in Arcadia. A very modern, sleek gas station with color-coded beverage sections that will set your heart all aflutter if you are one of those crazy organized types (ahem). A few more miles down the road, and we were snapping photos of the 1898 Round Barn. I set off with a picture in my head of discovering some American nostalgia. Perhaps I would see some quirky, romantic, and even kitschy roadside attractions. Alas, the fun stopped in Arcadia.

When we arrived in Stroud at the Skyliner Motel I almost insisted that we abandon ship. “It’s not too late. We can just go back to Oklahoma City and find a nice safe Marriott.” But we were in it. We signed the registry with “Bob,” and got a priceless/hilarious demonstration of how to use the remote control. Walking through downtown Stroud, I’ve never encountered such a weirdly abandoned ghost of an apocalyptic town. Abandoned junk in the storefronts, as though everyone just abandoned the shops one day. Packed up and didn’t look back.

I set out wanting to see America. I looked around me at the devastation and depression that was Stroud and I no longer wanted to see it. I wanted to see an art museum and go shopping. Get a pedicure and relax by the pool. I wanted to see the “real America.” But the “real America” is dead or dying and the people who are stuck here now are the walking dead.

We went next door to the gas station, and when we asked the cashier how she was doing she replied “Alright, I guess,” and let out a heavy sigh.

As always, our travels are marked in our “Play” Journal from Stealth Journals. The entry page can be seen here below:

Stealth Journals
Oklahoma: Indexed in our Play Journal, by Stealth Journals.

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