For the first time, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a venue for Opening Night, downtown Oklahoma City’s annual family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration.
The museum will be busy tonight with the Opening Night festivities and several special events.
The museum is marking the close of the special exhibits “Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman” and “Poodles & Pastries (and Other Important Matters): New Paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz,” along with the grand reopening of its vast collection of Dale Chihuly glass art.
Also, the museum will open Saturday night a new temporary exhibit titled “Chihuly: Northwest,” which will feature glass creations inspired by the American Indian basketry, along with selections from the Chihuly’s large collections of Pendleton trade blankets and images by renowned Western photographer Edward S. Curtis.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved with Opening Night for the first time in our 10-year history … in downtown,” said Leslie Spears, the museum’s communications manager. “We’re thrilled to partner with our colleagues at the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and at the beautiful new Myriad Gardens.”
Museum members will preview “Illuminations” from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and the redesigned Chihuly exhibit will open to the public from 8 to 11 p.m. Admission will be free to those with Opening Night wristbands.
From 11:30 p.m. to midnight, the museum’s Roof Terrace will host a champagne toast and viewing of the Opening Night fireworks. Tickets are $5 for guests and members, or free to patrons of the Museum Cafe’s annual New Year’s Eve Dinner.
In addition, two favorite jazz bands from the museum’s summer Roof Terrace concert series — Bruce Benson & Studio B and Maurice Johnson — will play in the museum lobby during Opening Night. OKC Improv will have improvisers performing throughout the event in the museum auditorium.
To help patrons take part in tonight’s festivities, the museum has issued a map, directions and parking tips to help people see the best routes around construction downtown due to Project180 and Opening Night.
On this map, red cross lines indicate road construction on one side of the street, and road construction where streets are closed:
And who better to advise on getting to the OKCMOA than the museum staff who drive it daily? Here are their recommended routes:
Leslie (from the Village)
Hefner Parkway south becomes I-44 , to I-40 east. Take the Walker exit, north to Couch Drive, turn left. Walker is down to two lanes but passable. Couch is one lane.
Brittany (from Norman)
I-35 North to I-40 West, take the Classen exit on the right, turn right onto Robert S. Kerr by the Oklahoma County Jail. Park by the Civic Center.
Nicole (from Edmond)
Broadway Extension, take the 6th Street exit, head west. Turn left at Hudson or even further down at Shartel. Parking is available along Robert S. Kerr.
Matt (from downtown surrounding neighborhoods)
South on Classen Blvd from NW 23rd, turn left on Robert S. Kerr and head east to OKCMOA. South on Western or Classen to Robert S. Kerr, go left. Look for parking.
Whitney (from NW 10th & May Avenue area)
Go south on May Avenue then left on General Pershing Blvd. (which eventually turns into Main Street). Turn left on Shartel, then right on Robert S. Kerr. There are various places to park on Robert S. Kerr and just north of it.
Jack (from Yukon)
I-40 west, take Walker exit. Walker north to Couch.
For details of all street construction listings from the City of OKC, CLICK HERE.
A parking lot (Progressive Parking) is located directly north of the Museum on the northwest corner of Hudson and Robert S. Kerr. Parking rates for this lot are as follows: $3 for ½ hour; $6 for 1 hour; $8 for 2 hours; $10 for ALL DAY
The multi-story City Center East parking garage is located on the corner of Park Avenue and Harvey, one block south of OKCMOA. This garage is available nights and weekends for use by the public. Hours for evening parking are Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-midnight. Weekend parking begins at 6 p.m. on Friday through Sunday at midnight. Parking is $7, and only credit cards are accepted.
There are several available metered parking spaces down Robert S. Kerr between Walker and Shartel. Meters stop taking quarters after 6pm.
Broadway/Kerr Parking Garage, 1 Robert S. Kerr
Century Center Garage, 100 W. Main
Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens
Santa Fe Garage, 2 Santa Fe Plaza
Have a safe and happy New Year!