Art and Food in OKC

While our primary purpose in traveling to OK was to attend the OPSA, our goal is to explore fully the places we visit.  With this in mind, we set out to sample some of OKC’s art and culinary offerings.

Snacking at Pinkitzel, by Sadie McLaughlin

Following our fun and informational day at the Oklahoma Political Science Association’s Annual Conference, we looked forward to a sugary snack. As soon as we walked into Pinkitzel, we knew we had come to the perfect place of much welcome relaxation. The bold, eclectic sweets shop was fully decked out with giant cupcake décor, a hot pink horse, and suits of (pink) armor, along with other various and unique decorations. Most importantly, there was a large display of all kinds of gourmet cupcakes and other sweets.

We enjoyed unique cupcake flavors such as pink lemonade, cookies and cream, and double chocolate truffle, complemented with coffee and even specialty hot chocolate! Additionally, we also had the opportunity to try macarons. Not only did some of us get to try this delicious snack for the first time, but we also learned the difference between a macaron and a macaroon. A macaron is in essence a French meringue cookie, while a macaroon is a Southern sweet made of shredded coconut and condensed milk.

Image result for macaron or. macaroon

While some of us are still debating the macaroon v. macaron enigma, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and the perfect fuel to hold us through our pre-dinner adventure at the Oklahoma Museum of Art.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, by Ashley Allen

By the time we had finished our delicious desserts, we found the sun setting atmosphere bearing on us as became more lighthearted and relaxed. To me, visiting the museum was the perfect way to spend the evening after hearing  speeches and presentations from the panels. Furthermore, I was extremely excited to finally visit the largest and most revered exhibit at the museum, the Dale Chihuly exhibit.

Dale Chihuly, LEAP Center, SHSU, OK Museum of Art

Chihuly’s specialty is glass blowing—an art from that I was familiar with before the trip, but never thought that it was possible to create such a variety of sculptures.

Dale Chihuly, OK Museum of Art, LEAP Center, SHSU

No two pieces were identical, not even when Chihuly was following the classic style of his Persian sculptures. On this note, one display that really caught my attention was the “Oklahoma Persian Ceiling.” It is almost impossible to describe due to the fact that I have never seen anything like it! We walked along a white corridor and above our heads were many different glass pieces fitted together in disarray, different shapes, loud colors, and intricate designs. A lot of his pieces seemed other worldly, belonging in a place of dreams and imagination. Chihuly’s style is so enchanting that the fifty-five feet tall “Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Tower” at the entrence created a general feel for his talented and daring glassmanship.

Dale Chihuly, LEAP Center, SHSU, OK Museum of Art

There were other paintings and sculptures we browsed through. As we toured the rest of the museum, we saw works by well-known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, John James Audubon, Andy Warhol…

Andy Warhol, LEAP Center, SHSU, OK Museum of Art

…and many more. We learned a lot of history behind different displays and their significance.

One story I found interesting was about the painting “The Laughing Indian” by Fritz Scholder. Scholder fought against the stereotypical Americanized version of Indians, who were stoic and romanticized, and placed them in a light of humanized nature. He did this by exaggerating certain characteristics forcing his subjects to look more awkward and out of place, which subliminally correlates to Native Americans’ history in America.

Overall the Oklahoma City Museum of Art taught us many things and exposed me to a lot of different styles of art. My only regret is that we didn’t have more time to examine each display to compare and contrast them. It was a wonderful opportunity to attend such a beautifully diverse accumulation of paintings and sculptures.

Evening Fun, by Sadie McLaughlin

As we finished up our tour of glass heaven, we decided that it was time for dinner. Our final culinary adventure for the day took us to Norman, Oklahoma. Here we arrived at the Greek House where we were treated with abundant plates of delicious Greek food across the street from the University of Oklahoma. We all greatly enjoyed generous servings of gyro meat, pita bread, and tzatziki.

Greek House, Gyros, SHSU, LEAP Center

Just when we thought we could not possibly eat more, we managed to fit in a few bites of baklava, a rich layered pastry filled with honey and nuts. With happy hearts and full stomachs, we attempted to walk off our calories with an expedition through OU campus.

As we neared campus, the dramatic architecture of OU campus instantly grasped our interest. The majestic gargoyles embedded at the buildings’ facade, lighting that accentuated the lines and curves of this historic buildings, and sculptures scattered around the campus took hold of us and enticed us to immerse ourselves deeper into the campus.

Speaking of immersing ourselves, we tried our hand at telephone  stuffing, a 1950s fad that we wanted to revive…

Telephone Booth Stuffing, LEAP Center, OU Campus, SHSU

OU has six telephone booths, brought in as an homage to the booths across London when OU’s President, David Boren, spent time at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.  They provide a bit of nostalgia, class–and fun–to the OU campus.

Eventually we found ourselves inside the library, a dichotomous building indeed, as part of the facility was modernized (with imacs, cutting edge study rooms, cutting edge vending machines, etc.), while the other part was the historic library. This latter part of the building was what interested us the most, as the massive scholarly study rooms, bountiful amount of antique books, and luxurious design was unlike anything we had ever seen.

After going through the fields of OU, finding sculptures by James Surls…

James Surls, LEAP Center, University of Oklahoma campus, LEAP Center, SHSU

…Jesus Moroles, and Robert Indiana…

Robert Indiana, LOVE, SHSU, LEAP Center, Oklahoma University campus

…along the way, the clock tower struck its 10 pm chimes. With this solemn ring filling the campus, its echo had a near melancholy tone as if it were sad to see us go.

But by that time we were more than ready to hit the hay after a near overstimulating day of political science panels, amazing food and art, and our improvised expedition of the beautiful OU campus. Now it was time to go to sleep and get ready for tomorrow’s adventure in the Capital of Oklahoma City.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: